I mentioned the Folkloric Festival of Parintins (or simply “Boi Bumbá“) on our Facebook page a while ago. It’s a big event in the Island of Parintins in the State of Amazonas. It’s a bit far from Manaus so you must get there by plane or endure a few days long boat trip.
It was created in 1965 and It’s related to another festival called “Bumba meu boi” (and because of this name it’s not unusual for people to mistake them, but they are very different in fact). And it’s not an easy task to describe how it looks and feels like – Closest attempt would be saying it’s a mix between an open air musical and the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, but it would still not be 100% accurate.
It presents myths, tales and legends using characters, parade carts, songs, choreography and giant puppets, followed by the words of a master of ceremonies who describes the action. Each of them counting as an asset to be judged by a comite. The two main stars of the festival are the representation of two bulls called Garantido and Caprichoso who are alleged to be rivals. Every year Caprichoso and Garantido “teams” choose a different theme and compete against each other in an arena called the Bumbódromo. The Festival lasts for three days and attracts thousands of people to the island, from common folks to brazilian national idols.
If you have the chance to come to Brazil in June, you should definitely set the Folklore Festival of Parintins on your cultural agenda, it’s certainly a worthy marvelous experience.
PS: This year’s winner was Caprichoso.