For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.


New Year's Celebration, Rio de Janeiro. Close to two million people gather for one of the most spectacular New Year's celebrations in the world. Starting on the evening of December 31 (Reveillon, New Year's Eve) and continuing well into the morning of January 1, the main event takes place on Copacabana beach with live music and fireworks, as well as Candomblé religious ceremonies. For details contact Riotur (tel. 021/2271-7000; or Alô Rio (tel. 021/2542-8080).

Three Kings Festival, Salvador. Salvador celebrates the Three Kings Festival with a procession and events around the Praça da Sé in the old town. Contact Bahiatursa (tel. 071/3103-3103; for details. January 6.

Washing of the Steps of Bonfim Church, Salvador. This is one of the most important religious ceremonies in Salvador when hundreds of women in traditional Bahian dress form a procession and carry perfumed water to wash the church steps, accompanied by 800,000 onlookers and revelers. Contact Bahiatursa (tel. 071/3103-3103; for details. Third Thursday of January.

Saint Sebastian Day, Rio de Janeiro. The patron saint of Rio de Janeiro is honored in this regional holiday. The highlight is a procession to the city's modern cathedral. For details contact Riotur (tel. 021/2271-7000; or Alô Rio (tel. 021/2542-8080). January 20.


Celebration of Yemanjá, the Goddess of the Sea, Salvador. Devotees throughout Brazil offer flowers, perfumes, and jewelry to the sea. Celebrations take place on the beach with music and food. The largest celebration takes place in Salvador on Praia Vermelha. Contact Bahiatursa (tel. 071/3103-3103; for details. February 2.

Carnaval. This event can take place anywhere from early February to mid-March. Carnaval begins the weekend before Ash Wednesday and ends on the morning of Ash Wednesday. For the next 2 years, the dates are as follows: March 5-8, 2011, February 18-21, 2012. The largest celebrations take place in Rio, Salvador, and Recife/Olinda. For details contact Riotur (tel. 021/2271-7000; or Alô Rio (tel. 021/2542-8080); in Salvador contact Bahiatursa (tel. 071/3103-3103;; the Recife tourist office (tel. 081/3232-8409); and Olinda tourism (tel. 081/3439-9434). Book ahead if you plan on attending this event.


Passion Play, Nova Jerusalem. South America's largest Passion Play (daily) takes place in Nova Jerusalem, just outside of Recife in Brazil's Northeast. For more information contact Recife Tourist Information at (tel. 081/3232-8409). Ten days preceding Easter.


Easter Weekend (Semana Santa), Ouro Preto. This important Catholic holiday is celebrated with processions and concerts. Ouro Preto, with its 13 baroque churches, is a popular destination during Easter. Contact Ouro Preto Tourist Information (tel. 031/3551-1469; for details. April 4, 2010, and April 24, 2011.

Week of the Inconfidência. Tiradentes Day on April 21 is a national holiday, but only Ouro Preto has made it into a large event with celebrations, plays, and cultural events taking place. Contact Ouro Preto Tourist Information (tel. 031/3551-1469; for details. April 16 to April 21.


Bumba-meu-boi, São Luis. In São Luis in Maranhão, the peasant folklore festival bumba-meu-boi begins June 1 with the baptizing of the bull, and continues throughout the month, culminating with a large street party on June 30, the feast day of São Marçal. In São Luis, contact the State Tourism Agency (tel. 098/3231-2000;

Festas Juninas. This folklore event in honor of saints Anthony, John, and Peter is celebrated throughout Brazil. The harvest festival offers country music, bonfires, hot-air balloons, and funfairs. For details contact Riotur (tel. 021/2271-7000; or Alô Rio (tel. 021/2542-8080). June 13 to June 14.

Bauernfest, Petrópolis. Petrópolis celebrates the German heritage of its many settlers with a week of German food, folklore, and music. Contact the Petrópolis Foundation of Culture and Tourism (tel. 0800/024-1516; for details. Last weekend of June and first week of July.


FLIP, Paraty. Don't miss FLIP (Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty). The Paraty International Literary Festival, held near the beginning of July, draws a cultured crowd to one of the most charming colonial towns in Brazil. See or contact the Paraty tourist information office (tel. 024/3371-1897) or the FLIP festival office in Paraty (tel. 024/3371-7082) for details. First week of July.


Independence Day. This is Brazil's national holiday. Most cities hold military parades. In Rio de Janeiro this impressive event takes place around Avenida Rio Branco. September 7.

Film Festival Rio BR, Rio de Janeiro. Rio's film festival showcases Brazilian and international films ( Subtitles are in Portuguese, but there is usually a good selection of international movies. For details contact Riotur (tel. 021/2271-7000; or Alô Rio (tel. 021/2542-8080). Late September to the first week of October.


Free Jazz Festival, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. A 3-day jazz festival with national and international acts. For details contact Riotur (tel. 021/2271-7000; or Alô Rio (tel. 021/2542-8080). In São Paulo contact the tourist information agency (tel. 011/3231-4455 or 2226-0400). Mid- to late October.

Cirio of Nazaré, Belém. Hundreds of thousands of the faithful parade an icon of the Virgin of Nazaré through the streets and harbor of Belém. Contact Paratur (tel. 091/3212-0575; Second Sunday of October (Oct 10, 2010, and Oct 9, 2011).

International Film Festival, São Paulo. The festival presents the best films of Brazil, Latin America, and the world. Most venues concentrate around the Avenida Paulista. Contact tel. 011/3141-0413, or check Last 2 weeks of October.

Grand Prix, São Paulo. Brazilians are car-racing fanatics; watching a big race in the company of Brazilian fans is an event in itself. The Grand Prix at Interlagos (a suburb of São Paulo) is the prime event in the country. Contact for more information, or call the tourist office in São Paulo (tel. 011/3231-4455 or 2226-0400). Third week of October. Check website for exact dates.

São Paulo Bienal. Art, theater, music, and architecture -- the biggest arts event in Latin America takes place every even year in Ibirapuera Park. For schedules and information contact the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo (tel. 011/5576-7600;


Aleijadinho Week, Ouro Preto. Special exhibits and presentations about the beloved sculptor. Contact Ouro Preto Tourist Information (tel. 031/3551-1469; for details. November 14 to November 21.


Santa Barbara, Salvador. This festival is celebrated with processions, music, and dance. Santa Barbara is the Candomblé equivalent of Iansã, the goddess of wind. Contact Bahiatursa (tel. 071/3103-3103; for details. December 4.

Christmas Eve. Brazilians go to midnight Mass to celebrate Christmas. Mass is usually followed by a late-night supper with family. December 24.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.