Recife, Brazil, June 4 (EFE).- The traditional “junina” festivities of the city of Caruaru, the largest in the world in homage to San Juan, left the virtual stages Saturday to become the first great massive street event in Brazil after the pandemic.
Caruaru, one of the largest cities in the wild “northeast” of Brazil and a well-known textile pole in the country, receives nearly 3 million people during the four weekends of June and the first of the following month for its traditional June festivities.
People in Caruaru and its surroundings and a large number of tourists, most from Recife, began to take Friday to the city streets, thirsty for the largest regional festival, which returned after two years of absence due to the pandemic.
Rains that hit Recife hard and left 128 dead since May 22 due to landslides and floods did not prevent hundreds of cars from leaving the capital’s coastline to invade Caruaru, one of the cradles of forro, a traditional dance.
In the Northeast region, Carnival was not celebrated this year and was limited to the show in the sambadromes of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, with public limits and without the massive street troupes, which in cities such as Recife or Salvador attract 2 million people in a single parade.
“The June festivities this time have a meaning of hope and life that goes beyond fun,” Salomé Dias, a dentist and “forrozeira” in Caruaru told EFE, adding that she never missed a party in her city in her 67 years.
“For Caruaru, for Pernambuco and for all of Brazil, this party is a tribute to those who left because of the pandemic and a sip of hope for those of us who remain,” said Dias, who is an official impersonator of Elba Ramalho, the “Queen del Forro” and the one in charge of officially opening the concerts.
On the first night, in addition to Elba Ramalho, Claudia Leite, who has already recorded with Puerto Ricans Ricky Martin and Daddy Yankee and Cuban Pitbull, and Solange Almeida, another of the most successful forró singers, performed.
There are 800 presentations in 24 poles, as the massive open spaces that will host the musical program are known, accompanied by gastronomic festivals with giant dishes that always seek the Guinness Record, street artists, “junina” troupes and various cultural expressions.
According to Caruaru Mayor Rodrigo Pinheiro, the “junina” party generates a turnover of 300 million reais (about $ 60 million) and 7,000 jobs, which are recovered after having been lost during the two years of the pandemic. EFE