In Brazil, the “Festa Junina” (June Party, or «Julina», when it takes place in July) is an event that everyone eagerly awaits. This party brings together all the good things about Brazilian popular culture: regional music, typical food and lots of fun with games and cultural activities.
If you’ve never heard of this party, which is so typical in Brazil, do not worry, we have prepared a brief explanation:
Characterized by honoring St. Anthony, St. Peter and St. John the Baptist, the “Festa Junina” has existed in Europe since pre-Gregorian times, when fertile land and good harvests were celebrated in the summer solstice. Coincidentally, the Indians who inhabited Brazil before the arrival of the Portuguese used to perform rituals in June, with singing, dances and a lot of food.
After the arrival of the Portuguese Jesuits, these traditions merged. Today, we see many of them included in the party, for example: typical dances and songs; the fire pit; clothes and accessories that refer to country life (the plaid print is very popular ); the so-called “simpatias” (for unmarried girls, St. Anthony is miraculous!) and, last but not least, food: usually, grains and roots grown by the Indians, such as corn, peanuts, sweet potatoes and cassava, together with sweet dishes like “pé-de-moleque”, cornmeal cake, green corn, hominy and popcorn, and drinks such as “quentão” (made with “cachaça”, ginger, cloves and cinnamon) and mulled wine.
Caminhos Language Centre gladly embraced this tradition, and prepared a very special “Arraiá” held on June 26, 2015. At the party, 60 people, including students and teachers, prepared thematic activities:
Dance: everybody took part in dancing, led by the teacher Allan Costa.
Games: teacher Jocilene Pereira taught students one of the Festa Junina’s most typical games: fishing.
Food: teacher Fernando Bonfim taught how to make “quentão”, a traditional “Junina” drink, and peanut candies. Very nice!
Clothing: hicks (“caipiras”) costumes – many with plaid print – were presented by teacher Rubia Marzochi. The best costume, elected by the international students, was David Afonso’s.
History: the story of the origins of “Festa Junina” could not be left out. Teacher Gabriel Matos told us everything about this cultural event.
Take the opportunity to enjoy traditions like “Festa Junina” whilst learning Portuguese in dynamic classes taught by high-quality, native teachers, a service that only Caminhos Language Centre provides Enroll now and experience for yourself all that Rio de Janeiro has to offer.