Festivals and Events
São Luís do Paraitinga is famous throughout Brazil for its traditional street Carnaval. Instead of the fervent (imported) rhythms of samba and frevo (they are banned by official decree), you’ll only hear only old-fashioned marchinhas (or marching band songs) that recall Carnavals of yesteryear. With gigantic papier-mâchê dolls, festive decorations, and colorfully costumed residents organized into blocos, the atmosphere is festive without being out of control.
Held 40 days prior to Easter, the Festa do Dívino Espírito Santo includes a weeklong celebration involving traditional music, processions, fireworks, and public feasting that have a distinctly local character. If you’re planning on visiting during either of these festivals, you’ll need to book a hotel months in advance, or hope that you can rent a local room last minute.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition