June is the month of the popular saint São João, and it’s a pretty good time to be in interior Minas Gerias, Brazil. It’s harvest festival time. Each weekend a different neighborhood in town sponsors a party. Everyone bundles up in their winter gear (this is the one month where scarves and hats and/or warm jackets are actually necessary some nighte). Bonfires and street food vendors are traditional. Everyone looks forward to the caldo de pinto, caldo de feijão, esquentão, tanjica, and maccarão that make up the traditional menu. Music and square dancing is traditional too. Some neighborhoods really throw themselves into it, and in the case of the square dancing demos, quite literally. People usually compare notes at each party: this neighborhood had the best square dance, this had the best DJ, this one makes the best esquentão.
Here’s a few photos from last year’s Festas Juninhas so you can get a sense of the fun.