Sao Felix Baiano - Reconcavo

Festivals

Joie de vivre

A Brazilian proverb says that São Paulo works, Rio de Janeiro celebrates, and Bahia sleeps. The fact that Bahia is considered rather sleepy may have something to do with its relaxed lifestyle – lunchtimes are often spent napping on a park bench. Yet Bahia and the Recôncavo are one of the most important regions for popular festivals in Brazil.

Most of these festivals have a religious background, sometimes Catholic, sometimes based on Candomblé, and sometimes a mixture of the two. After the serious aspects, all these rituals are followed by secular festivities consisting of dancing, music, food and drink.

Besides the religious festivals, there are also festivals with a social or political background. Brazilian Independence Day, the 7th of September, is celebrated everywhere in the Recôncavo, as well as the 2nd of July, the day of Bahiaian Independence. Every town also celebrates the day of its patron saint. Of course, the great Christian festivals are also celebrated; Christmas is a family occasion, while Easter is often celebrated with processions – which are then followed by music and dance.

The world’s best-known Brazilian festival, the Carnival, does not feature very prominently in the Recôncavo. Carnival is in fact only known in the cities along the coast. However, Micareta parties, which attract bands inland after the Carnival, are celebrated in some towns in the Recôncavo.

Although there is no precise research and there are certainly differences from place to place, it can be assumed that due to the festivities there are more than 20 additional public holidays each year in the Recôncavo. However, even that only partially explains why the Recôncavo is famous as a region of festivals.