Sunday, July 4, 2010

Festa Junina

A few weeks back, there was a Festa Junina party at our kid's school. Like a good expat parent, I did research (thanks wikipedia!) and talked to a few other English speaking parents so I knew a little bit. From what I remember now, there are three saint's days in June, São João (St John) being the biggest day. A Festa Junina (or June Party) celebrates the harvest and rural life with singing, dancing quadrilhas (square dances), bonfires, and food. The typical foods are made with peanuts and corn, such as canjica (a kind of sweet pudding made from corn or hominy), quentão (sweetened, mulled, hot cachaça), and paçoca, which tastes like the inside of a Reeses Peanut Butter cup. Yum. People also dress up as "country bumpkins", with fancy ruffled, colorful and lacy dresses, and boys and mean wearing plaid shirts, straw hats and patched jeans. The kids spent about a month learning songs, practicing dance moves, and making art for their Festa Junina. When the day finally arrived, I was pretty excited, but I really had no idea what I was in for. It was SO wonderful! I loved seeing all the outfits, hearing my kids sing in Portuguese, eating the yummy food, dancing with Beatrice, talking with other parents, waiting in line for the canjica (really, I waited about 45 minutes, but it wasn't so bad since I was talking to people) and letting my kids run around and have fun. It was a great time. I took more videos than pictures (oops), but hopefully these will give you a taste of what it was like.

Here is Sebastian's class parading in. What you can't see is the cute fake mustache that we penciled in on his upper lip.

And below are pictures of Beatrice and one of her teachers (Bea calls her "Linda" or "beautiful" but that's just because that's what she says every time she sees Beatrice),
Dora eating a candied apple (all the candy came off in one big blob), and pictures of Dora and Sebastian's art that was on display.

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