You can make your trip to Brazil more festive if you schedule it during one of the country’s major holiday celebrations.
People in Brazil like to have fun all the time, but the celebrations go into hyperdrive during national holidays. Most of the biggest holidays take place in the Autumn — which is Springtime in the Northern Hemisphere — but there also are a few big national holidays in the later months of the year.
Perhaps Brazil’s biggest and most well-known holiday celebration is Carnival, which is held for in the three days leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Catholic Lenten season.
Carnival brings visitors from around the world to Brazil, especially to Rio de Janeiro, where the city’s spectacular celebration includes colorful, rhythmic parades featuring samba schools which compete each other for the honor of being the nation’s best.
But Carnival is celebrated throughout Brazil. Other popular celebrations include the Carnivals of Olina and Recife and the Carnival of Salvador de Bahia.
Other Major Holiday Celebrations
The festivals of the Cavalhadas in Pirenopolis (Goias) is held 45 days after Easter. It’s a national holiday commemorating the battles in which the Christians in Spain drove out the Moors.
April 21 is the Festival of Tirdentes, which commemorates the death of Joaquin Jose da Silva Xavier (Tiradentes) a national hero in Brazil’s struggle for independence during the Inconfidencia Minera, an independence movement in the late 18th Century.
September 7 is Brazilian Independence Day. It celebrates the declaration of independence from Portugal by national hero Don Pedro I.
On October 12, Brazilians celebrate the Festival of la Virgen Aparecida, Patron of Brazil. People from all over the country travel to Sao Paulo to attend church services at Aparecido do Norte and to visit the Basilica.
November 15 is the anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic, commemorating the end of the empire and the start of the republican era in Brazil.