Corpus Christi in Brazil

corpus christi in brazil

Hello, friends from A Dica do Dia! Today we’ll discuss the Corpus Christi holiday in Brazil. This holiday always falls on a different day every year, so how do you find out which day it is? It’s very simple: Just count 60 days after Easter Sunday. It is always on a Thursday because the Last Supper also happened on this day. Another important date to remember is Trinity Sunday, always the week before Corpus Christi.

To facilitate your life, we put the dates for Corpus Christi in the years to come:

Day of the weekDateMonthYear
Thursday30May2024
Thursday19June2025
Thursday4June2026
Thursday27May2027

In Brazil, Corpus Christi is a Catholic celebration of the Eucharist: the symbolic presence of the Body of Jesus Christ in the consecrated host.

Is Corpus Christi a Holiday day in Brazil?

In Brazil, Corpus Christi is considered an optional holiday (ponto facultativo), meaning it is not a national public holiday, but many states and municipalities choose to observe it as such. On May 30, 2024, many places in Brazil will have a day off, and public services, schools, and businesses might be closed, similar to a national holiday. However, whether it is an official holiday with a day off may vary depending on the specific location within Brazil.

Where is Corpus Christi a Holiday in Brazil?

Different cities in Brazil commemorate Corpus Christi with a holiday day:

  • São Paulo
  • Salvador
  • Maceió
  • Manaus
  • Vitória
  • Goiânia
  • Cuiabá
  • Campo Grande
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Curitiba
  • Teresina
  • Natal
  • Porto Alegre
  • Boa Vista

Ponto Facultativo Meaning

Ponto facultativo is a way to name a holiday day that is not a holiday day in Brazil. Yeah, I know, it is difficult to get it! Let’s explain it properly! Ponto Facultativo is a day, where institutions and companies choose if they do holiday day or not. For example this year in Rio de Janeiro, Corpus Christi is an optional holiday, so each institution chooses if it is a holiday day or not. Even in some institutions, sometimes workers can choose if they want to work or not.

Don’t worry in 2024 at Rio & Learn we will be having classes for Corpus Christi, so, you don’t miss anything. Anyway, take care of all the team that will be working on this date! We deserve it!

Cultural Aspects of Corpus Christi in Brazil

People participating on a procession of Corpus Christi in Brazil.
The Procession

In many cities in Brazil, it’s common to decorate the streets of the procession with carpets made from a variety of different materials and usually with designs of religious inspiration.

Coloured Sawdust Carpets in Goiás for Corpus Christi in Brazil.
Colored Sawdust Carpets in Goiás

In the state of Goiás for example, flowers from the cerrado and sawdust are used to create colored sawdust carpets that cover the streets where the congregation goes by.

Men showing the Coloured Sawdust for Corpus Christi in Brazil.
Coloured Sawdust

In São Paulo, there’s a carpet made from crushed glass, flowers, dolomite, and sawdust that stretches for 12 blocks throughout the city!

Corpus Christi in Rio de Janeiro

Here in Rio we also have a very special way to celebrate Corpus Christi. In the famous Candelária Church in the center of Rio, there is a mass at 3 p.m. and when it finishes, people make a procession walking from Candelária to the Saint Sebastian Cathedral. During the celebration, large amounts of food are donated by the people, which is then sent to homeless shelters and orphanages.

Corpus Christi Food

Corpus Christi is a significant religious holiday and, like many other Brazilian festivals, it is often accompanied by delicious traditional foods. The cuisine in Corpus Christi varies from region to region in Brazil, but there are a few common dishes that are commonly prepared and enjoyed across the country.

One of the most popular Corpus Christi dishes is called Pamonha. Pamonha is a traditional corn-based dish made from fresh corn, grated or ground, mixed with milk, sugar, and sometimes coconut. The mixture is then wrapped in corn husks and boiled or steamed until cooked. Pamonha can be sweet or savory, with variations that include cheese, cinnamon, or even meat fillings.

Another popular dish during this holiday is Canjica or Mungunzá. Canjica is a sweet porridge made from white corn kernels, cooked with milk, sugar, and sometimes coconut milk. It is often spiced with cinnamon and cloves, giving it a warm and comforting flavor. Canjica is typically served hot and is enjoyed as a dessert during Corpus Christi celebrations.

Quindim is a sweet treat that is also commonly found in Corpus Christi. It is a dessert made with a rich mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and shredded coconut. The ingredients are mixed together and baked until the top becomes golden and the center is custard-like. Quindim has a deliciously sweet and creamy texture and is a favorite among those with a sweet tooth.

These are just a few examples of the foods you might encounter during Corpus Christi celebrations in Brazil. Nonetheless, the holiday offers a fantastic opportunity to explore and enjoy the diverse and delicious cuisine that Brazil has to offer.

Vocabulary List

Corpus ChristiFeast of the Body of Christ
FeriadoHoliday
EucaristiaEucharist
Jesus CristoJesus Christ
Ponto FacultativoOptional Holiday
Hóstia ConsagradaConsecrated host / Sacramental Bread
ProcissãoProcession
SerragemSawdust
Tapetes ColoridosColoured Sawdust Carpets
Vidro MoídoCrushed Glass
DolomitasDolomite
QuarteirõesBlocks
AbrigosHomeless Shelters
OrfanatosOrphanages
TradicionaisTraditional
RegiãoRegion

Now it’s your turn!

To practice what you’ve learned, read the sentences and tell us if they are correct or incorrect. If the sentence is right you can put the letter C (correto) and the letter E (errado) for the wrong ones.

  1. Este feriado acontece toda Terça feira a cada ano. (  )
  2. Ele celebra a Eucaristia. (  )
  3. As pessoas geralmente decoram as ruas com carpetes coloridos. (  )
  4. No Rio de Janeiro são usadas flores do cerrado para criar os tapetes coloridos. (  )
  5. Em Goiás, há um tapete feito de vidro moído, dolomitas e serragem que se alonga por 12 quarteirões.  (  )
  6. No Rio de Janeiro há uma celebração na Igreja da Candelária.  (  )
  7. As pessoas geralmente doam comida durante as celebrações.  (  )
  8. A comida é enviada para pessoas ricas.  (  )
  9. Este feriado não é celebrado no Brasil.  (  )
  10.  É muito comum ver procissões nesta data.  (  )

We hope that you’ve enjoyed getting to know our Corpus Christi in Brazil. Want to learn more Portuguese online? Check out our Online Portuguese Courses!

See you soon in the next A Dica do Dia and have a great holiday!

Hugs and kisses from the Rio & Learn team.

 Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Holidays in Brazil
History of Tiradentes
Saint Sebastian’s Day in Rio de Janeiro
Independence Day in Brazil

Answers

  1. Este feriado acontece toda Terça feira a cada ano. ( E )
    Este feriado acontece toda Quinta feira a cada ano
  2. Ele celebra a Eucaristia. ( C )
  3. As pessoas geralmente decoram as ruas com tapetes coloridos. ( C )
  4. No Rio de Janeiro são usadas flores do cerrado para criar os tapetes coloridos. ( E )
    Em Goiás são usadas flores do cerrado para criar os tapetes coloridos
    .
  5. Em Goiás, há um tapete feito de vidro moído, dolomitas e serragem que se alonga por 12 quarteirões.  ( E )
    Em São Paulo, há um tapete feito de vidro moído, dolomitas e serragem que se alonga por 12 quarteirões
  6. No Rio de Janeiro há uma celebração na Igreja da Candelária.  ( C )
  7. As pessoas geralmente doam comida durante as celebrações.  ( C )
  8. A comida é enviada para pessoas ricas.  ( E )
    A comida é enviada para abrigos e orfanatos.
  9. Este feriado não é celebrado no Brasil.  ( E )
    Este feriado é celebrado no Brasil
  10.  É muito comum ver procissões nesta data.  ( C )

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