Brazil’s packed annual calendar of events and festivals is an intriguing fusion of national anniversaries, lively festivals, religious themed celebrations and of course, the most anticipated sports event on the planet! These are the key events throughout 2014.
1 – 5 March 2014 - Carnival
The loudest and boldest festival on the annual calendar is undoubtedly the world-famous Brazilian Carnival, which is celebrated across the whole country in various incarnations. For example the most famous Carnaval is that which rocks Rio – the mighty Rio Carnival, which sways to the beat of the samba. Each region is influenced by its local culture; for example the northeast of Brazil is dominated by frevo and maracatu dances and music from the axé and forro genres.
Carnival takes place before Easter, in line with the Roman Catholic calendar. Around 65% of the population are Roman Catholic. The first three days are classed as ‘observances’ whereas Carnival Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday on Tuesday 4 March and the final day on Ash Wednesday are national holidays. The Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday and is the final day to indulge before the Lenten fast on Ash Wednesday.
18 April 2014 - Good Friday
In line with the bible, Good Friday is a national holiday to respect the passion, crucifixion and death of Jesus.
20 April 2014 - Easter Sunday
Today marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with locals attending church sermons and offering prayers
21 April 2014 - Tiradentes Day
Tiradentes Day pays respects to Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (1746 – 1792) who lead the Brazil revolution. His aim was to attain independence from the Portuguese and establish the country as a republic. He was uncovered however and executed. Today he remains something of a hero figure and the national holiday each 21st of April (the date of his death) has been marked since 1889.
1 May 2014 - Labor Day
Timed to coincide with May Day and also the coming of spring, workers across the country enjoy a day off today.
12 June 2014 - Lovers' Day
We already knew that the Brazilians are a pretty sultry bunch and this is confirmed in their second annual Valentine’s Day - Dia dos Namorados, aka Lovers’ Day! Its follows much the same format as February 14th with romantic gifts, gestures and celebrations.
12 June – 13 July 2014 - FIFA World Cup 2014
The most hotly anticipated sports events of the year finally gets underway on 12th June – the start of the FIFA World Cup coincides with Lovers’ Day (above) – coincidence? Enjoy!
19 June 2014 - Corpus Christi
This national holiday, also known as the Day of Wreaths is in honour of the Holy Eucharist.
7 September 2014 - Independence Day
Brazil finally achieved independence from the Portuguese colonial rule on 7 September 1822.
12 October 2014 - Our Lady Aparecida
Brazil’s Queen and Patroness, Our Lady Aparecida is honoured today which is also known as Children's Day.
2 November 2014 - All Souls Day
This national holiday is also known as Dia de Finados and commemorates the faithful departed.
15 November 2014 - Republic Proclamation Day
Brazil’s Republic Day marks the end of the Empire of Brazil as it was and the implementation on 15 November 1889 of the Brazilian Republic.
24 – 25 December 2014 – Christmas
Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself are national holidays within Brazil.
31 December 2014 - New Year's Eve
The nation celebrations the dawn of another new year on this day which (contrary to many other countries) is a national holiday. Street parties, festivals and fireworks are the order of the day.
Image credit: 2; AndrevruasCC BY 3.0