Festivals of Pernambuco
Festivals of Pernambuco

Hot picks  in the state of Pernambuco
Nova Jerusalém in Fazenda Nova
During Easter Holy Week (Semana Santa), Nova Jerusalem, 185 Km from Recife and 50 km from Caruaru, stages a Pageant of the Passion of Christ in which the entire population of the town takes part. It is the world's largest open-air theater, and spectators go along with performers from one station to another. novajerusalem.com.br 

Festa dos Santos Cosme e Damião
On September 27 in Igarassu, celebrate the founding of Igarassu and honor its patron saints with Bumba Meu Boi and the ciranda dance.

The Festa do Coco is held during the last week of November in Igarassu.

An off-season 3-day Carnaval featuring the electric trios of Salvador. It always happens in October at Boa Viagem Beach
Garanhuns  Winter Festival. Music, theater, dance and all kinds of workshops take place in the city known as the Pernambuco Switzerland due to its cool weather with temperatures reaching down as low as 8 degrees Celsius. This festival promotes new trends in Brazilian music as well as a good time the June festivals are known for.
Triunfo plays its part in the July celebrations with the Students’ Feast, which attracts about 150 thousand tourists that invade this small town. This event has happened in Triunfo since 1958, but it was only recently that it became part of the Circuito do Frio.

"One of the best collections of this manic accordion currently music available in the US. The artist selection is off the beaten track, and the emphasis is fairly rootsy (this is Rounder after all...) The title refers to the distain that many of the more cosmopolitan Brazilians hold for the rural forro style... As in, "What? You listen to forro? Good lord, why? Only taxi drivers listen to that!!" Sort of like Mexican ranchera music in California. But, hey, judge for yourself. This is pretty solid collection, with plenty of catchy material. "
Forro by slipcue.com

"In the state of Pernambuco there are more rhythms flying around than you could shake a drum stick at and only the aficionados could tell you the difference between some of the styles. You'll always have a good time at maracatu sessions, with it's distinctive heavy beat, or at any coco concerts. "
forro by roadjunky.com

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The French brought the quadrilha to Brazil, which is a theatrical dance that tells the story of a marriage in a small town. Even today, the traditional quadrilha lyrics of Festas Juninas use French words.
The days observed are: June 13, Santo Antônio; June 24, São João; and June 29, São Pedro
for couples dancing,
the folk music of the North East
The music that defines the festivals on a sonic level. Forró lyrics are usually about love and romance, passion, jealousy, or reminiscing about an ex-lover.
Forró is danced in partners, usually man and woman, close together. The man's right leg is between the woman's legs and her right leg is between his. His right arm wraps around her waist and he holds her right hand with his left hand off to his left side. Dancers move in sync with one another. The steps for the man (opposite for the woman) are simply right-left-right,(hold), left-right-left, (hold) and repeat. Learn by watching a couple dancing and pay attention to the hips. Hips are key.
The term forro is actually a corruption of the English expression, "For All." In the 19th Century, British companies organized public dances for its employees in Recife, and the name stuck.
Men dress up as farm boys with suspenders and large straw hats and women wear pigtails, freckles, painted gap teeth and red-checkered dresses, all in a loving tribute to the origins of the music, and of themselves, many of whom are recent immigrants from the countryside to cities such as Olinda, Recife, and Salvador, and many of whom return to the rural areas during that season to visit family.

Anthony 13JUN , SAINT Peter 29JUN & SAINT JOHN´S DAY 24JUN)

The Festas Juninas are very popular in the cities of Pernambuco as well as the entire Northeast. The cities get hazier from the smoke of the bonfires associated with St. John´s. The daylight is shortest during this midwinter solstice holiday, which is officially recognized in Recife and other cities. The feasts have their own typical features of music, costumes, food, decoration and games.

The town of Caruaru, 136km from Recife, boasts the largest and most genuine celebration. The main focus of merrymaking is the Pátio do Forró, in the town centre, where different local and national singers perform shows. Thousands of people from all over Brazil visit Caruaru all through the month of June – the official date of São João is the 24th.
Caruaru competes with Campina Grande, Paraíba, for the title of "Biggest Saint John Festival in the World." Pernambuco is featured in the Guiness Book of World Records for holding the biggest outdoor country festival. As the festivals also coincide with the corn harvest, typical dishes served during the Festas Juninas primarily involve corn, such as canjica and pamonha, but also include peanuts, potatoes and sausages. The celebrations are very colorful and festive, and often include pyrotechnics.

tremdoforro.com.brOn some of the days preceding São João, the "Forró Train" travels from Recife to Caruaru in party spirit, with bars, bands playing in the carriages, and lots of merrymaking.


In Recife, the revelling goes on in the suburbs as well as the centre. After June 9th, the rest of the month is given over to a music festival featuring hundreds of  artists in four specially erected dance halls which can keep people dancing even if it rains. The party features the inimitable mix of culture and northeastern rhythms found only in Pernambuco: forró, coco, xote, xaxado, baião, ciranda and marujada, rock, samba-rock, and manguebeat.
The towns of Gravatá and Bezerros also provide two great options, with plenty of square-dancing and "Forro" dancing

This is the time for traditional celebrations in the Catholic calendar. The days observed are: June 13, Santo Antônio; June 24, São João; and June 29, São Pedro and São Paulo. The most popular dance during the festivities of the month of June is the Square Dance, in which there can be a fake wedding that takes place before the actual performance.
A bonfire is always present. People wear clothes
associated with hillbillies (the Portuguese word for hillbilly is "caipira"); young boys make up beards and moustaches, young girls arrange their hair in ponytails.
In full leather regalia, cattlemen of the northeast gather to celebrate a special outdoor Cowboy's Mass, or Missa do Vaqueiro, in the Pernambuco backlands, remaining on their horses during the ceremony.
This is also the time for
bumba-meu-boi, or "beat my bull," a story of rebirth which features St. John

While the festival came over as a summer solistice holiday, here in the southern hemisphere it is the winter solstice when the night is at its peak. As with the winter Roman Saturnalia, which became Christmas, there are many pagan elements to the holidays named after saints.

It is the eves when the magical part of the Catholic saints holidays  connected to love is expected to manifest itself. It is a time of speculation regarding lovers and their future. The immortal questions of the heart such as: who will they marry? Are they to love or be loved? How many children will they have? Will they die young or be old and wealthy?/font>

The entire month of June is given to the holidays, but the first one of the parties of the june cycle is for Saint Antonio. The eve of this day, significantly, was chosen officially as Day of the Boyfriends, in Brazil. The cult of Saint Antonio has special significance because  he was a Portuguese saint, born in Lisbon. Always one of most popular, there is also cult associated with his legacy. Saint Antonio is also who you pray to when your in a war.

Traditional forro Music is based on the accordion, percussion, and a metal triangle. There are several traditional songs. 

Food is heavily based on corn and other ingredients available on farms: boiled corn, baked corn, popcorn, several candies based on corn, milk and peanuts (pe-de-moleque, canjica, curau, pamonha, cocada). To drink, there are several juices for kids, and, to help adults warm up, quentao (the name means "very hot"). The drink is prepared with cachaca , sugar, and gengiber.

Caruaru  , 130km west of Recife. "Capital do Forró "

South America's capital for ceramic figurine art. The craft market, recognized by UNESCO as the largest centre for figure sculpture in the Americas, is a lively, unforgettable place, with crafts in clay, rope and leather. All the natural beauty and customs of the Agreste region of Pernambuco Caruaru can be seen here as well. To see the artists at work visit Alto do Moura,
which exhibits works by more than 200 artisans, and allows you to gain a better sense of the better values at the market. The center also houses the Museu do Mestre Vitalino. Vitalino (1909 - 1963) is considered the greatest pottery artisan of the Northeast of Brazil.

Also in Caruaru, you will find many outdoor musicians, as well as poets who perform literatura de cordel (literally "string literature), a form of story-telling entertainment which has managed to survive despite the competition of TV. 

This is the interior of the state center of economic activity and indeed for the large agricultural region, as there is a "rivalry" between Caruaru and the city of Campina Grande [www.pmcg.pb.gov.br/], in the neighbour State of Paraíba, over the title of Capital of the Agreste.

Don't miss the Museum do Forró in the museum section on Parque 18 de Maio (closed Sun & Mon)
Festivals: In June's São João, Caruaru is taken over by festivities. Shows of Forró and other rhythms, square dancing, bonfires, fireworks and corn are some of the ingredients that make up the event. Locals and tourists that throng the town every year have given Caruaru the title "Capital of Forró".
At Easter, the town is an obligatory stop on the way to see the Passion Play at Fazenda Nova, 60km from Caruaru.
Getting There: Bus trips takes 2 hours and runs every half hour from Recife
http://www.caruaru.pe.gov.br > hotel directory with websites

Carpina News
Jornal Extra do Agreste

Tracunhaém (40 km from Recife) 
Considered the 2nd most important craft center in the state, with a huge Sunday Fair and shops where you can survey the ceramic work of several master artisans. 

Gravatá - Another highland city with moderate climate, known as the "Brazilian-northern Swiss" because of its weather and European-influenced architecture with Alpine-style buildings.

Bezerros near the city of Gravatá. It was once the center of coffee production. Notable tourist attractions include: Lula Vassoureiro's Atelier, Centro de Artesanato de Pernambuco; and their two festivals; Carnival FESTAS JUNINAS

Petrolina Defined by the River Rio São Francisco and served by three buses daily from Recife. On the other side of the river bridge is the state of Bahia and the poorer sister town of Jauzeiro.  The two cities, making up an urban area of almost 500,000 people, are connected by a modern bridge. Sobradinho dam, enclosing Sobradinho Lake, the largest artificial lake in the world, is located 26 kilometers upriver.
In contrast to the rest of the Northeast of Brazil, a region of 1.5 million sqaure km with poor soils, semiarid climate, and periodic droughts that has long been viewed as Brazil's foremost "problem area," the Petrolina-Juazeiro nucleus is a great contrast of dynamic irrigated agriculture, agro-processing industries (tomato and fruit-processing) and services.
 It is possible to make a 4 day trip down the river to Minas Gerais, but check in Recife or Salvador first before you continue further inland to Canudos (5 hours) or enter Bahia and head towards Salvador through Feira de Santana. This is the land of the sertão. 

wiki/Petrolina & portalpetrolina.com.br/

Garanhuns - an oasis in the dryness of the pernambucano wasteland.
Correio Sete Colinas
Folha da Cidade






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