Brazil is an enormous country and each region has its own cultural calendar, but some events are so epic the entire nation gets involved.
The big one. Despite cities like Sao Paulo and Recife making their mark in recent years, Rio remains the best place to enjoy this cultural extravaganza. Spread over the three days before the start of Lent, the Rio Carnival attracts more than 2 million people each year.
The Brazilian Grand Prix is one of the country’s top annual sporting events, attracting the world’s attention for its duration. It takes place at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo and has been part of the F1 circuit since 1972.
Meaning simply ‘June Festival’, Festa Junina is a nationwide event for Brazilians but celebrations are particularly enthusiastic in the northeast. The festivals feature traditional music, dance and food, and, having been originally introduced by the Portuguese, have roots in the European midsummer celebrations.
Although this clearly originated in Germany, Oktoberfest is also a popular festival in Brazil due to it being championed by German settlers in the 19th century. Celebrations takes place across the country, but you’ll find the best parties in the southern city of Blumenau.
Apart from Carnival, New Year’s Eve in Brazil is the biggest party of the year, and as with Carnival, Rio is the place to be. Or more specifically, Copacabana Beach, where over 1 million revellers are treated to a spectacular firework show.