Festa Junina in Brazil

Hello folks! Ready to learn Portuguese? Today we’ll talk about one of the most important festivals in the Brazilian culture: June Festival in Brazil.

Festa Junina or Junina party is one of the best loved celebrations in Brazil. It is a catholic celebration where people prepare bazaars in honor of three saints, namely; Saint Antony, on June 13th; Saint John, on June 24th and Saint Peter, on June 29th. That’s why we call it the June Festival.

We call it Festa Junina because Junino and Junina means related to the month of June.

June Festival in Brazil

Decoration with colorful little flags at Festa Junina, june festival in Brazil.

Decoration with colorful little flags

The June festival originated in Europe, mainly in France, and was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese. Here in Brazil this party has its origin in the countryside and used to be a way to celebrate the harvesting of plantations.

The period from June to September was dedicated to harvesting, soil preparation and planting new crops and so the farmers would bring the products of their harvest to this celebration. In the beginning the party was known as Festa Joanina in honor of Saint John, but then the name was changed to Festa Junina.

From the countryside, the festival spread to the big cities and nowadays each region has its own way of celebrating, always with an abundance of music and traditional food on offer. It is always cheerful and colorful, just like all other Brazil celebrations.

Typical Food 

Typical food in Festa Junina

It is usual for the festa Junina in Brazil, that we choose outside venues for the celebration and in Portuguese we call these sites Arraiais. Normally, during the party there are stalls offering typical alcoholic drinks, such as Quentão (is an alcoholic beverage made with cachaça, water, sugar, orange peel and lime, cinnamon, clove and slices of apples) are prepared. In addition, we play fun games like; Pau de Sebo (greasy pole), Pescaria (Fishing) and Correio elegante (Love letter) and we often have fireworks.

The Junina party has traditional countryside foods for sale, such as Canjica, Popcorn, Pé-de-moleque, Boiled Corn, Pamonha and Corn Cake. Dancing plays an important part in the festival, and so, two of the most popular dances that people practice are; the Quadrilha (Quadrille or Country Dance) and Forró dances.

Other traditional practices that you can see in June Festival in Brazil include; the building of a bonfire and the performance of a fictitious Farm Wedding in which a countryman groom marries a countrywoman bride and the bride’s father is usually an angry man that holds a rifle to prevent the groom from running away.

Traditional Costume in Festa Junina

Traditional Costume

The June festival in Brazil is usually cheerfully decorated with colorful bunting, flowers, stars and balloons and in addition, colorful outfits like lacey dresses, straw hats, boots and plaid shirts, etc are usually worn by the party goers.

Vocabulary for our June Festival in Brazil

Festa Junina June Party
Quermesse Festival
Santo Antônio Saint Antony
São João Saint John
São Pedro Saint Peter
Interior Countryside
Colheita Harvest
Agricultor Farmer
Arraiá Temporary site
Pau de sebo Greasy Pole
Pescaria Fishing
Correio elegante Love letter
 Fogos de artifício Fireworks
Pipoca Popcorn
Milho cozido Boiled Corn
Pamonha Brazilian style tamale
Bolo de fubá Corn cake
Quadrilha Quadrille or Country Dance
Fogueira Bonfire
Casamento de roça Farm Wedding
Noivo caipira Countryman groom
Noiva caipira Countrywoman bride
Fugir Run away
Fantasia Costume
Bandeirolas Bunting
Flores Flowers
Estrelas Stars
Balões Balloons
Chapéu de palha Straw hat
Botas Boots
Camisa xadrez Plaid shirt

That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our culture and Brazilian celebrations.
Until next time, Cheerio!

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

1.55 K