EVENTS in BRAZIL
December 31 – New Year’s Eve party in Rio de Janeiro
The special atmosphere, full of magic and hope, are typical of the Carioca New Year. New Year´s Eve is considered to be the 2nd greatest event in Rio´s tourist calendar, bringing together millions of people along Copacabana beach front, nearly all wearing white, to watch the spectacular firework display, which brings in the New Year.

February 12th to 17th – Carnival in Brazil
People speculate that the word Carnival derives from caro-vale, meaning "good-bye meat". The reasoning goes something like this: for the 40 days of Lent, nominally Catholic Brazilians give up liver or flank steaks. To compensate for the big sacrifices ahead, they rack up sins in a delirious carnal blowout in honor of King Momo, the King of Carnival.
Carnival is a genuine national celebration which for the Brazilians is more important than Christmas, New Year and Easter rolled into one, is a celebration that has become the big draw for the tourism industry. More than anywhere else in Brazil, Carnival in Rio is a spectator event, but it's fantastic spectacle nonetheless.
Rio de Janeiro : A City-wide Explosion of typically Carioca merry-making, with the greatest street celebration in Brazil. A party for the entire town, interliking thrills, creativeness, colors, music, costumes and plenty of dreams.
The sheer scope of Carnival involves art, music, literature, magic and above all, life itself.
From the period of Carnival, Rio de Janeiro once again plunges into the greatest theme-party on earth, with many pre-carnival warm-up events, and an unforgettable wrap-up on the Champion Saturday, at the Sambadrome downtown. The Spectacle of the famous Samba School Parade with all the contagious gaiety of its beauty and enthusiasm, with that irresistible beat, makes Carnival quite unforgettable.

February 14th and 15rd - Carnival parade in Rio
This parade , the high point of Carnival in Rio, is divided in two nights. Seven schools parade on Sunday and seven on Monday. In this group, the Samba schools stand out for their magnificent and luxuriousness, with the participation of famous stars and well-known Brazilian celebrities.
Doors open at 17.00, opening ceremony at 20.00 and parades start at 21.00
The Parade takes place at the “Sambadrome”m which is like a big street where the samba school starts parading at the beginning of the street, and finishes at the end of the street. Sectors located in the middle, are better than the ones located closer to the beginning or the end.

February 20th - Champions Parade
Several winners are selected from these parade to parade again as Champions on following Saturday, March 04 (hence called Winners Parade). It includes the six special group schools that made the best score, the winner or the access group, and other special attractions. The Samba Schools Parade at Rio’s Sambodrome is something everybody has to experience at least once in life. The event is broadcast live to several countries, and all Brazilian states. Watching on TV is cool, but not half as much fun as being there. You have to mingle with the crown, sweat, maybe even march with a samba school. In case you are getting completely mixed up, Samba Schools are not teaching institutions. A Samba School is an association of people from the same neighborhood, usually a popular community (favela) or suburban area. They get together on a regular basis for samba meetings and rehearsals. Samba schools provide valuable jobs to the community in the production of costumes, and floats. Each year schools choose a different theme. Samba schools may take to the Parade anything from 3.000 to 5.000 members, and from 6 to 8 floats. They have to make it through the runway in a period from 60 to 80 minutes. This mean each member will spend only about 25-30 in the Sambodrome. The experience is so intense, through, that memories will last a lifetime.

March 26th to April 3rd - Paixão de Cristo/Passion of Christ
IT is the reenactment of the Passion of Christ that takes place every Easter Week (Semana Santa, or Holy Week) in Nova Jerusalém, an open air theater-town in Fazenda Nova, a district of Brejo da Madre de Deus, in Pernambuco. The rock walls of Nova Jerusalém (New Jerusalem) enclose an area of about 38 square miles and 9 sets . As of Easter 2008, Nova Jerusalém is considered the largest open air theater in the world.

June 13th, 24th and 29th June Bonfire Festivals
Festa Junina, named after the month of June, is the name of Brazilian celebrations which take place in the beginning of the Brazilian winter (June). These Europe-originated festivities are most associated with Northeastern Brazil, but today they are celebrated throughout the country, on the Catholic feasts of Saint Anthony (June 13th – a patron of those trying to find a wife/husband), John the Baptist (24th - according to popular faith, the responsible for a good harvest) and Saint Peter (29th - the guardian of heavens, with control over the clouds and rains).
As the northeast is largely arid or semi-arid, these popular festivals not only coincide with the rainy season 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, street decoration, dance (particularly quadrilha, which is similar to square dancing), etc. The "quadrilha" features couple formations around a mock wedding whose bride and groom are the central attraction of the dancing. Usually taking place in an “arraial” , a large, open space outdoors, men dress up as farm boys with suspenders and large straw hats and women wear pigtails, freckles, painted gap teeth and red-checkered dresses, all in a loving tribute to the origins of Brazilian country music.
Festas Juninas are as popular as Carnival. It should be noted that, like for Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like the original European Midsummer celebrations, during the two-week June festivities in Brazil, bonfires are lit. They can be seen everywhere in Brazil.
For years two Northeastern towns in particular have competed with each other for the title of "Biggest São João Festival in the World", namely Caruaru (in the State of Pernambuco) and Campina Grande (in Paraíba State). In fact, Caruaru features in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the biggest outdoor country festival. However the States of Bahia and Maranhão (as elsewhere in Brazil) have invested in promoting their own way of celebrating the June Bonfire Festivals. Thus, there are enough options to enjoy it!
As São João coincides with the corn harvest, most of the dishes served during these festivities are made from corn, such as CANJICA (sweet corn mush with coconut milk and cinnamon), CURAU (a pudding made of maize that is usually dressed with cinnamon) and PAMONHA (a paste made from corn and milk, boiled wrapped in corn husk – variations may have cheese and/or coconut). PINHÃO, the nut of the Auracaria pine (Araucaria angustifolia), is also very popular during the June festivities - they can be either boiled or roasted. QUENTÃO ("very hot" in Portuguese) is a traditional drink served in the Festas Juninas. It’s a tummy-warming hot punch made of red wine, fruits, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc - YUMMY!

June 26, 27 and 28 – Parintins Festival
Guaranteed or Capricious? Heart or star? Red or blue? That’s how it is in Parintins: you have to choose which side to take. The historical rivalry between the two bulls called Guaranteed and Capricious dominates the city, permeates people’s imagination and culminates in one of the most popular parties in Brazil: the Parintins Folklore Festival held every night on June 28, 29 and 30. In the bumbódromo arena, the Bulls put on a grandiose spectacle of dance, music, drama and special effects – a true rural opera that drives its 40 thousand daily spectators into a frenzy. Located on the Island of Tupinambarana, along the right bank of the Amazon River, 420 km from Manaus and almost on the border with the State of Pará, Parintins, with its 80 thousand inhabitants is a pleasant and agreeable city in the interior of the the States of Amazon.
Venue : City of Parintins, state of Amazon
Website : www.parintins.com.br

July – Festa Literaria Internacional de Parati (FLIP)
Parati is a colonial sea-side town nestled between the turquoise waters of Ilha Grande Bay and vast swathes of unspoilt Atlantic rainforest. It is three hours’ drive from both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Once the port from which most of Brazil’s gold was shipped to the Old World, today the town plays host to cultural festivals throughout the year.
In August of 2003, the Festa Literária Internacional de Parati (FLIP) became the latest newcomer in a family of well-established literary festivals including Hay-on-Wye, Adelaide, Toronto’s Harbourfront, Berlin Festival, Edinburgh and Mantua.
Venue : Paraty, state of Rio
Website : http://www.parati.org.br/sobre_flip.php3?idioma_new=I

August - Gramado Film Festival
Main Brazilian event in the field and one of the most important in Latin America, the Gramado Film Festival happens annually since 1973, for six days in the month of August. Actors, directors, technicians and visitors give prestige to the competition, which shows dozens of films and offers prizes in two categories: Brazilian productions and Latin-American, Portuguese and Spanish films. The program also incudes short films, independent films, workshops and talks. The screenings are at the Festivals Palace – with capacity for 1,200 people – and at the Municipal Culture Center. All the screenings are open to the public, who can even participate on the judgment of the films
Venue : Gramado, located 126km from Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul State.
Website : www.festivaldegramado.net

September - Jazz Festival – Ouro Preto
The International Jazz Ouro Preto Festival – Since 2002, the festival has reached an enormous repercussions among the jazz lovers. Today it is considered the best Festival of Jazz in Brazil.
Venue : Ouro Preto, state of Minas Gerais
Website : http://www.tudoejazz.com.br/

October 10 - Círio de Nazaré:
Besides the legends of the Iara and Vitória Régia, Belém is known for the Círio de Nazeré feast, which happens every year on October. The procession, which nowadays gathers 1.5 million faithful, is one of the largest catholic manifestations of the country. Touching the rope hanging from the platform on which is Our Lady of Nazareth (Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, in Portuguese) is the greatest possible proof of devotion to the saint.
Venue: Belem, state of Pará
Website : www.ciriodenazare.com.br/

October - Oktoberfest Festival
The largest German party in the country was held for the first time in 1984. The event makes Blumenau the main tourist destination in the State of Santa Catarina in the month of October. It is a fun party where everyone can calmly enjoy a good draft beer and excellent typical German food to the sound of the best bands in the region.
Venue : Blumenau
Website : www.oktoberfestblumenau.com.br/

October – Rio de Janeiro LGBT Pride Parade
The Rio de Janeiro LGBT Pride Parade, one of the largest LGBT events in Brazil, is an annual event which had its first edition in 1995. An estimated 1,5 million attended the 2009 LGBT pride parade in Copacabana.
In Brazil, Rio's LGBT Parade is second in size only to the Sao Paulo LGBT Pride Parade.
The event is promoted by Rio-based Grupo Arco-Íris de Conscientização Homossexual, or the Rainbow Group for Homosexual Awareness, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to join people committed to advancing awareness of diversity and to help build a world without sexual prejudice and discrimination. The starting point will be Posto 6, the area closest to the Copacabana Fort, Arpoador and Ipanema Beach.
Venue : Rio de Janeiro

November 5 to 7 - Grand Prix Sao Paulo – Formula 1
The Brazilian Grand Prix of Formula 1 2009 is hosted in the city of Sao Paulo in the Interlagos circuit. This is the 39th annual edition of the Brazil GP F1 event.