Three Kings Day in Brazil

6 de January de 2015

What’s up, you ok? Today’s free Portuguese lesson for foreigners is about Brazilian culture and celebration. Today we’ll learn about the Three Kings Day in Brazil.

What is the Three Kings Day in Brazil?

The Three Kings Day in Brazil, or Folia de reis in Portuguese, is a popular and traditional Brazilian festival. It is one of the most emblematic folk festivals in the country. This celebration has a cultural and religious character, and takes place from December 24 to January 6, the official Day of the Kings or Day of the Three Kings.

The Day of the Kings in Brazil is celebrated to remember the three kings that took presents to Jesus. The Portuguese brought this tradition to Brazil during the colonization.

The Folia de reis is celebrated in the Catholic religion in order to commemorate the visit of the three wise men (Gaspar, Melchior – or Belchior – and Baltazar) to the baby Jesus. When they saw the Star of Bethlehem in the sky, they went to meet the newborn baby Jesus and took incense, gold and myrrh to give to him. The gold represented royalty, the incense represented divinity or faith, and the myrrh represented immortality.

How do we celebrate it?

In Brazil, this festival is celebrated in different regions across the country. The states where this tradition is most present are: Rio de Janeiro, SΓ£o Paulo, Bahia, Minas Gerais, EspΓ­rito Santo and GoiΓ‘s.

A group of folia de reis is formed by a master or ambassador, a foreman, the three wise men, clowns, military flag bearers and procession revellers. In addition, during the Folia de Reis, it is possible to watch the parades of the groups dedicated to the festivities through the streets. It’s very beautiful and colorful!

The members of the groups wear colorful costumes, dance and play typical music with different instruments (such as: guitars drums, accordions, tambourines, harmonicas, and other percussion instruments, etc.)

During the festival, groups walk around the streets offering the blessings of Jesus to the people who want to receive them. It’s very common during the party that families give food to the members of the group, helping them to continue walking the streets offering blessings.

Many of the groups celebrate by giving theatrical performances and reciting verses. After the parade, a themed mass is usually held. The celebrations vary according to the traditions and particularities of each region of the country – typical food, music, games and dances will depend on where the celebration takes place.

Take a look at this video and see us having fun! You could have the same in a nice immersion with one of our teachers!


Vocabulary Related to the Three Kings Day

Folia dos Reis Three Kings Day
Folclore Folklore
Estrela de BelΓ©m Star of Bethlehem
Incenso Incense
Ouro Gold
Mirra Myrrh
Embaixador Ambassador
Capataz Foreman
TrΓͺs Reis Magos Three Wise Men
Palhaços Clowns
Alfeires Military Flag Bearers
FoliΓ΅es Procession Revellers
Fantasias Costumes
Bençãos Blessings
Apresentaçáes Teatrais Theatrical Performances
Missa Mass

What do you think about seeing this with your own eyes? Come study Portuguese in Rio with us, and feel the magic of our city! Want to see more of Rio? Come see some pictures on our Instagram!Β That’s it friends! See you in the next Portuguese Dica for foreigners students!

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Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Brazil Holidays
Months in Portuguese
Happy New Year in Portuguese
Merry Christmas in Portuguese