Whether celebrating their cuisine and culture, marking the anniversary of a religious date, or donning elaborate costumes for street-side revelry, the Brazilians know how to party! Indeed, events and festivals take place year-round throughout Brazil, and are known across the world for a number of exciting features. Enormous parades and colourful floats are just two aspects of Brazilian celebration: countless genres of music, including Samba and Maracutu, accompany the festivities, and general eating, drinking and merrymaking are compulsory! With the Rio Carnival alone attracting almost 5 million visitors every year, there’s never been a better time to join in the Brazilian fun!
Of course, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to stay while you’re there, but Brazil’s hotels don’t come cheap when celebrations take place! Luckily, HomeAway has hundreds of properties in Brazil, offering privacy, space and value for money, as well as a beachfront location, so you’re only steps from the sea. When you’re not dancing to drums or sampling spicy cuisine, you can retreat to your private holiday home, and enjoy a break from Brazil’s lively beats! Simply read on for our top five events in Brazil, and find out where you can call home for the holiday.
The Rio Carnival is one of the world’s most famous festivals, held over five revelrous days in Rio de Janeiro every year. Taking place during Easter, from the Friday to the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday, it sees enormous parades featuring elaborate costumes, as well as drummers and dancers making their way through the streets. Visitors have long been welcomed to join in the fun, with free open-air concerts and masquerade balls taking place throughout the city. With Samba as your soundtrack, and a caipirinhas in hand (made of lime juice, sugar, ice and cachaca) you’ll be in the party spirit in no time!
Festa do Peao
Festa do Peão means ‘Cowboy Festival’ in English, and has proven a popular Brazilian festival for almost 60 years. Held across the country in the likes of Maraba, Uberaba and Barretos, festivals usually feature a series of rodeo bulls and horses, accompanied by country-style music. By far the largest and best known of the Festa do Peao is held in the Sao Paulo state of Barretos every August, to coincide with the anniversary of the first recorded festival in 1955. Held in an enormous park with a stadium large enough to hold over 35,000 spectators, the festival’s highlight is undoubtedly the rodeo showdown.
When you think of Oktoberfest, you’re likely to envisage Germany, but Brazil hosts its own in the wonderful city of Blumenau. Founded as a German colony in 1850, today the Santa Catarina city sees over 1 million tourists flock to its centre, to enjoy German and Brazilian cuisine, music and culture. One of the best places to stay during the October festival is the beach paradise of Balneário , from which you can easily reach Blumenau via public transport links. So don your most colourful costumes, grab your party hats, and join the hordes of revellers at one of Brazil’s most exciting events.
Celebration of Yemanja
Paying homage to the Goddess of the Sea, the Celebration of Yemanja is a beautiful event in Salvador, a city otherwise known as Brazil’s ‘capital of happiness’. Held at the beginning of February each year, it sees locals throw gifts into the sea, be it flowers, perfume or costume jewellery! The largest celebration takes place along Praia Vermelha, culminating in a celebratory evening on the beach with music, partying and food. Make your way to Salvador early, and you could even catch the city’s most important religious ceremony: at the end of January, hundreds of women in traditional costume come to wash the steps of the Bonfim Church.
Cirio de Nazare
On the second Sunday of October each year, one of Brazil’s greatest religious festivals is held along the River Amazon, in Para's beautiful city of Belem. Known as the Cirio de Nazare, the festival revolves around a statue of Our Lady of Nazareth, which is believed to have performed miracles when it was found and brought home by a farmer called Placido Jose de Souza. It is said that the statue, after being brought to Belem, would return to its home in Icoraraci of its own accord. Today, the statue doesn’t travel by itself: carried from the Catedral da Se to the basilica in Icoaraci, it's accompanied by hundreds of colourful boats, filled with singing, dancing crowds.