People wearing costumes in three kings day in Brazil.

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 new born 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, São Paulo, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and Goiás.

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!

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That’s it friends! See you in the next Portuguese Dica for foreigners students!

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Brazil Holidays
Months in Portuguese
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