Friday, July 15, 2016

Luzia's holidays - Brazil

Luzia loves to send cards to her friends and there's no doubt that holidays are a good excuse to send some cards. These are from Caruaru in Pernambuco state and Caraíva in Bahía. 

Foto: Ilzo
Caruaru features in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the biggest outdoor country festival. I'm talking about Festa Junina (June Festival), which is the annual Brazilian celebration historically related to European Midsummer that take place in the beginning of the Brazilian winter. These festivities, which were introduced by the Portuguese during the colonial period (1500-1822), are celebrated during the month of June nationwide both in Brazil and Portugal. The feast is mainly celebrated on the eves of the Catholic solemnities of Saint Anthony, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Peter.
As Northeastern Brazil is largely arid or semi-arid these popular festivals not only coincide with the end of the rainy seasons of most states in the northeast but they also provide the people with an opportunity to give thanks to Saint John for the rain. They also celebrate rural life and feature typical clothing, food, dance (particularly quadrilha, which is similar to square dancing). Like Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Portugal and Scandinavian countries, São João celebrates marital union. The "quadrilha" features couple formations around a mock wedding whose bride and groom are the central attraction of the dancing. - in: wikipedia

Foto: Johannes Compaan
According to documentation of the National Artistic and Historical Heritage Institute, available at the Discovery Museum in Porto Seguro, Caraíva community is the oldest village in Brazil. The first Portuguese arrived around 1530, and lived here several indigenous tribes, the region is known as "Discovery Coast".
Caraíva benefits from various environmental and historical protections, including from UNESCO, as the village is one of the places in the Discovery Coast classified as World Heritage.
Caraíva is the oldest village in Brazil and nothing there  reminds modern life. No cars, mobile phone network, the streets are covered in sand and the electric light only arrived in 2007. Despite the light installation, there are no poles, wiring is underground not to interfere in the landscape. 

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