Bumba Meu Boi 2016
Brazilians love a party, and once hangovers from the annual Rio and Salvador Carnivals have lifted, they naturally start looking for the next big event. And every year, millions of Brazilians head to the north-east to take part in the annual Bumba Meu Boi festival...
The odd name literally means "Beat My Bull" and the exact story behind the festival changes across the north-east of Brazil but a quick outline is as follows: farm owner asks his faithful ranch hand to look after his favourite bull; said ranch hand's pregnant wife develops a craving for ox tongue; ranch hand kills the bull to feed his wife and then has to get a local shaman to bring the dead bull back to life. It's basically just your common-or-garden resurrected ox story: clear?
Brazil being Brazil, this story now involves huge parades, giant ox floats, music, dancing and day long parties. There are festivals held all over the north, but the most famous (and still the best) is held in the Amazon riverside town of Parintins, where two 'teams' each hold their own parades with their own giant ox (a blue ox called Caprichoso and a red one called Garantido) and cast of characters, culminating in a huge "dance off" in the town's "Bumbodromo". Hundreds of thousands of people descend on Parantins for the festival, sleeping on boats, in hammocks and on rooftops just to be a part of it all.
So if you don't mind roughing it, Parantins is the place to be - or you can enjoy a slightly easier time of it in cities like Recife and Sao Luis - just let us know where you'd like to Beat Your Bull!
Ask us about this Festival in Parantins