The festival of Boi-Bumba, also known as Parintins Folklore Festival, is held in Amazonas State and is considered the second biggest festival in Brazil. It takes place over three days at the end of June on an island 420km south of Manaus, on the edge of the magnificent Amazon River, next to wildlife and verdant rainforest.
This huge annual festival originates from 1913 and showcases the blend of local cultures, both those of indigenous people and those of the descendants of slaves who came to the area. The festival centres around a re-enactment of the legend of Boi-Bumba – when an ox, that is killed for its tongue to satisfy the cravings of a pregnant lady is then miraculously restored to life. Over the years the celebration has grown and since 1988 has taken place in the 35,000-seater purpose built Bumbódromo. Two historic local associations Caprichoso (blue) and Garantido (red) parade colourful floats, and compete through dance, music and elaborate costumes, impress the judges with their displays portraying the story of the ox, and rituals and legends of the local river and rainforest. Both sides are encouraged by their supporters in matching blue and red coloured seats. The festival is a glorious, theatrical spectacle – which is best seen to be believed!
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