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Heading to South America for a vacation? Don’t miss out on Brazil, the coastal country known for rich culture, sprawling cities, Amazon adventures, and great parties. The parties and events in Brazil are some of the best in the world and happen all throughout the year. From the wild carnival events in cities and towns across Brazil to the local beachside festivals, Brazil has something for any type of partier. So put on your party outfit, grab an ice cold beer or caipirinha, and get ready to samba your way through the days and nights.
1. Rio Carnival, Rio de Janeiro
You can’t miss out on one of the biggest parties of the year. Rio’s Carnival. The city of Rio de Janeiro comes even more to life during the weeklong festival and street parties. 2019 Carnival will take place in early March from the first through the ninth. Each year, Carnival begins with the crowning of the King of the Carnival and the Preliminary Schools Parade. Each day, different Sambo schools perform in parades and in the Sambadrome. Be sure to buy tickets to the Sambadrome ahead of time as these sell out fast. Favorites include the Main Schools’ Parades and Champions Parades. During carnival, Rio is full of beachside parties, samba beats, and incredible costumes.
2. Sao Paulo Carnival, São Paulo
Carnival celebrations aren’t just for Rio. Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, is also home to the parties and events of Carnival. However, it’s not quite as intense as in Rio. In Sao Paulo, the parties usually only take place within certain, specified sections of the city, so be sure to check out where the party is. This carnival features the typical Samba parades and parties that make carnival so special, as well as some fun events. Head to the block parties, or blocos held by neighborhood associations across the city and try the popular drink, Cutauba, a wine made from Amazonian plants. The drink is one of the most popular choices during Carnival every year. Don’t forget to dress up. Glitter from head to toe is the standard.
3. São Paulo Pride, São Paulo
South America’s biggest pride event takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The party happens every June drawing in millions of visitors and spectators each year. The focus of the event is always the big pride parade; this past year’s happened on June 3rd along the Avenida Paulista. The week leading up to Pride is just as fun, though so don’t miss out! Days and nights are filled with parties, including LGBT walking tours, concerts, and all types of entertainment. Visit the local clubs for the best deals and specials.
4. Festa de Yemanja, Salvador
Salvador, in the state of Bahia, is often thought of as Brazil’s happiest city, and it’s easy to see why. The city is also commonly referred to as Brazil’s party city. The real draw, however, isn’t the abundance of great clubs and bars, but the Festa de Iemanja, the country’s biggest Afro-Brazilian festival, taking place in early February. The festival celebrates the goddess of the sea and fertility, Iemanja. The festivities begin early in the morning on the white sand beaches of Praia Rio Vermelho with traditional offerings, blessings, dozens of flowers, and events. The beach is then taken over by big bands and parties lasting well into the night. 2019’s Festa de Iemanja will take place on February 2nd.
5. Congado, Belo Horizonte
Minas Gerais state is famous for many things — a food capital, great beaches, and having a rich culture. One event you truly can’t miss is the Congado, steeped in Afro-Brazilian customs and history. The Congado festival each year celebrates traditional Catholic and traditional African aspects of the culture of the region. The celebration’s main groups, protecting the saints and royalty, are Congo, Mocambique, and Candombe. Each group marches in a procession to traditional music and dance, making it just as fun as any Brazilian party.
6. Carnival, Porto Seguro
Yes, we’ve written a lot about Carnival in Brazil already, but the truth is, each city is just a little bit different, making it more like several different parties. Porto Seguro, a sleepy beach town north of Rio and Sao Paulo, comes to life during the days and nights of Carnival. 24 hours a day you’ll find parties on the water’s edge, in the streets, in the parks, and everywhere in between. Throughout the whole event, beach hippie vibes prevail, giving the small town a unique twist from Rio and Sao Paulo’s carnival events.
7. Festival de Inverno, Ouro Preto
Translating to “Festival of Winter,” this event held every July in Ouro Preto welcomes the cooler months in Brazil. The town is located just south of Belo Horizonte, making it easy to get to. The festival typically consists of cultural events, concerts, performances, and more, all lasting for several weeks. The biggest draw to the festival is its diversity. Festival de Inverno pulls cultural and musical events from across the country, highlighting regional differences, as well as international acts.