Brazilian Festas Juninas (June Festivals) are celebrated in the whole country. The most important São João (St. John) festivity is based in the town of Caruaru, in Pernambuco State. In general, the June festival honors three Catholic saints: St. Anthony (June 13th), St. John the Baptist (June 24th) and St. Peter (June 29th). However, like most of the Christian holidays, this festival was originally a pagan feast. Ancient civilizations, such as Celtic and Egyptian people, used to enjoy the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice to carry out rituals, requesting a promising crop from the gods. Therefore, these rituals were full of dancing, chanting and food.
Caruaru, also known as the capital of the forró rhythm, hosts parties that last nearly one month and attract 1.5 million travelers to the town. The current celebrations include concerts that take place at Estação Ferroviária, Pátio de Eventos Luiz Gonzaga, Alto do Moura and Polo Azulão, among other places downtown and in rural areas. More than 20 stages have been prepared for the 2019 celebrations.
Apart from music and dancing, the St. John celebration in Caruaru is also popular due to the abundance of typical foods (many of these delicious snacks are made from corn). The acclaimed Quentão – a drink made from hot wine and slices of fruit – is also a hit.