Guest blogger Written by

Kamila dressed up as caipira

I am Kamila Bianchi from Brazil, studying a Masters in 3D Computer Animation at BU. When most people in Europe think about celebrations in Brazil, they think about carnival. However, we have many more traditions to celebrate, one of them being Festa Junina!

Festa Junina (June Festival) is a very typical festival in Brazil, which occurs during the whole month of June. It is also known as Festa de São João  – a celebration of the nativity of St. John the Baptist (24th June).

The festival is celebrated with big events organised by Catholic Churches, usually held within the grounds of the church, and a lot of schools and companies also organise their own festivals. Beyond that, birthday parties and any celebration in June can have Festa Junina as a theme. Even at work people would nominate a day that you should come dressed as caipira, the name used to refer to the rural population in Brazil.

The biggest cultural influences come from the rural areas, which inspire the three most important aspects of this festival: costume, food and music.

Costume

Getting inspiration from rural farmers, plaid shirt and dresses are a must for those participating in this festival. Men usually paint a fake moustache and big eyebrows, while women wear braids with colourful ribbons. Bright and non-matching colours are the fashion rules!

Typical decoration for a house party

Food

Corn is the base of most of dishes: corn cake, corn juice and corn desserts. Toffee apple, popcorn, quentão (similar to mulled wine) and paçoca are also very popular. A lot of people joke that the food is the best part of this traditional festival, when you can eat a lot, with no regrets.

Music

Quadrilha is the typical dance of this festival.  It consists of many couples dancing in pairs to celebrate a mock wedding. The bride and the groom are the main characters of the dance, reflecting the fertility of the land. Forró is the traditional and main music style heard at the festival, played with accordions and triangles, but also includes guitars, fiddles and drums in more modern variations. It reminds me a lot of a country dance and it certainly brings a very energetic atmosphere to the event.

The tradition in the UK

This year the only Brazilian event that I found in the Bournemouth area is organised by BREACC Richmond. I can’t wait to go there and get a taste of a real Brazilian cultural event. It will make me feel closer to home.

If you would like to organise your own Festa Junina, check out these links for music, costume, decoration and food inspirations.

By Kamila Bianchi, Brazil, MA 3D Computer Animation, 2016/17