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January is vacation month for schools and government offices, so everyone is partying it up day and night. Most of the upper class won’t be in Rio this month, but can be found in Buzios, Ilha Grande and Paraty, as well as other parts of Brazil. The samba club rehearsals are heating up, so attend as many as you can.
20th of January
Saint Sebastian Day: Only In Rio.
Carnival is also the largest party of the year: 165 million people partying for week. If you are here during carnival, be sure to get tickets for the Samba school tournament held at the Sambodromo, or wait till the Saturday after carnival and watch the top 5 schools parade (Desfile das Campeãs).
Mobile Companies Music Festivals
Different international brands have been sponsoring music events on Flamengo or Copacabana Beach, hiring huge international bands to perform. Entrance is usually free.
Shifting in March
Carnaporto- off season 6 day music fest/street party in Porto Seguro – BA.
Easter is a big event in Brazil, as this is a 90% catholic country. A national holiday occurs on Good Friday, so people tend to take the whole week off. Everyone goes somewhere, so if you are in Rio, it is a fun time to visit Buzios, Paraty or Ilha Grande.
21st of April
Tiradentes Day (Independence hero)
23rd of April
Saint George Day (Only In Rio)
A music festival sponsored by Skol, the beer brand. Lots of national and international artists.
1º de Maio- Labor Day
May 1st is Brazil’s Labor Day, when no one works. Some larger parties and concerts may be sponsored by clubs or rave promoting companies.
Just like Terefantasy: a costume party 1 hour outside Rio. Mostly frequented by Rio’s college students. Beautiful venue, music and show.
Festa Junina is a hick fest. Everyone dresses like a hillbilly and goes square dancing, Brazilian style of course. Usually these events are held between large groups of friends (100 or more), but some are run by a party promotion company. Worth a visit. Ask your concierge for the public ones sprinkled throughout the city.
Shifting in June.
Petropolis, Teresopolis and Friburgo host a 2 week winter festival (weekends mostly), with different shows, food stands, drinking etc.
Fortal – off season 4 day music fest/street party.
Micarecandanga – off season 3 day music best/street party.
Off season 3 day music best/ street party in Juiz de Fora, in Minas Gerais
Raves come and go in Rio, as government pressure mounts to stop them. Look for their flyers at the locations listed on page 93, and check them out.
They are very different from 1st World raves: most are held in outdoor areas, country clubs or huge garden complexes.
7th of September
Sponsored by a phone company, this 4 day event takes place on the Museum of Modern Art, a beautiful venue, and given the steep price for the tickets, only Rio’s affluent (or well connected) make it. www.angraeletrico.com.br
The rave culture hasn’t influenced people’s fashion style yet, so you may see thousands of people wearing regular clothes. Also, the recreational drugs associated with raves (you know what I’m talking about) are scarce compared to London and Berlin. During the summer, look for beach raves along Ipanema after midnight.
12 of October
Our Lady of Aparition – Brazil’s Holy Lady
The German beer drinking festival, run by Brazil’s German community. What could be a better mix?
Blumenau, Santa Catarina
Oi Noites Cariocas
An unmissable series of bigname rock bands performing on top of Urca Hill, the one before Sugar Loaf, overlooking the city at night. The setting couldn’t be better, the crowd very well selected and the ambiance is as cool and romantic as it gets. As soon as you get to Rio ask around for which bands are worth checking out as the styles vary. Shows going on between November and Carnival.
2nd of November
Finados (Dead Day)
15th of November
Republic Proclamation Day
20th of November
Zumbi Dos Palmares : Black
NYE is huge in Rio. It is actually, the largest get together in the World: over 2 million people go to Copabacana beach to watch the fireworks shows.
Carnatal – off season 4 day music fest/street party in Natal, RN.
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