No matter how bad the economy can get around the world, the Saint John's party in Brazil is still going to be a big celebration. Saint John is a marital saint who brings a lot of fun to Brazilians every year. So, once you choose to go to Brazil at winter time, you should get to know the meaning of this event, the history behind the celebration, and how to dress up and celebrate the party.
First of all, “Festa Junina”, typically termed “São João” (Saint John) as it is centered on that saint's day, in June, is an annual Brazilian celebration. These festivities, which were introduced to the country by the Portuguese during the colonial period (1500-1822), are most associated with Northeastern Brazil, but today are celebrated in the whole country. It used to be a time for people to thank Saint John for the crops, because around June, in Europe, is crop time. In Brazil, however, it is a winter time and people enjoy the season and pray for Saint John to bring the proper rain and marriage to their lives.
Second, the most important meaning of Saint John's celebration is the popular meaning, with all its magical and mythical status. The Saint John typical dance is “quadrilha” (which is similar to square dancing) and was introduced to Brazilians by the French. This theatrical dance tells the story of a marriage in a small town, with a bride, a groom, a priest, and it is all about the ceremony. Even today, the traditional “quadrilha” lyrics of “Festas Juninas” use French words. Beyond the Saint John party and the religious aspect, people believe that Saint John can reveal the first letter of the name of your spouse. While you pray for Saint John you are allowed to ask about your sentimental future life, and meanwhile you enjoy the party with a bonfire, fireworks, food, costumes, and a lot of dancing.
Third and last is how to celebrate “Festa Junina”, because it is the most fun part of the party. Saint John is a huge event with typical food like corn, cakes, and desserts (dishes may include peanuts, potatoes, sausages, and rice); typical music like "forró"; "quadrilha" dancing; and people dressing themselves like rural natives.
Despite the whole Catholic meanings of the party, Saint John's celebration is always a happy event with more than just religious traditions. Visiting my country at Saint John's party time is guaranteed to be a lot of fun - this holiday always takes more than one day of celebration and you will miss that in the end. If you are lucky and the year coincides with the Soccer World Cup, I am sure you are going to have a blast, but that is a subject for another essay!