June is here and carnival has past. What is there to do in Brazil? "Festa Junina" or as my friends call it - "Quadrilha" ... that's what. So, what is a Festa Junina / Quadrilha? Festa Junina is a celebration that historically goes back to the European Midsummer festival which celebrated the bountiful harvest. In Brazil it takes place at the beginning of winter and it isn't about giving thanks. Quadrilhas are a celebration in honor of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Anthony, and Saint Peter. Unlike carnival, the most well known of these parties are not on the eastern coast of the country around the cities Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. They happen in Northeastern Brazil in the state of Bahia.
Over the month of June we went to several of these festivals throughout the city of Goiania as almost every school and many organization hold them to build community, raise funds, or just have a good time. The venues we went to were all decorated with stings of flags flying from one end of a huge open space to the other. Reminding me of used car lots back in the U.S. Tables, chairs, or grandstands sit at the edge of the open space depending on the size of the party. Not far from these open areas are thatch huts
Let the dance begin as a line of couples dressed in costume approach the open area following behind a couple dressed in white. The choreography is based on a mock wedding
During my visit we attended three different quadrilhas. A charity for a local burn hospital, the one put on by the city in Goiania city square, and at a country club that a friend organized. At all three the dancing was spectacular and the performances were enjoyable. They all told stories of brides and grooms and the costumes and dancing was spectacular. I wish I would have had my camera which takes video along as still photos cannot capture the true essence of these parties but you will just have to visit Brazil in June and see a quardrilha for yourself.