The Brazilian Day Festival

On September 7, 1822, Brazil achieved its independence from Portugal. To honor the day, for the past quarter century New York has celebrated with an enormous street fair known as the Brazilian Day Festival.

Held the the first Sunday in September, the event is billed as the world’s largest and most important Brazilian event abroad. Many expatriates come from other cities and states, some chartering special buses for the occasion.

Popular music and television stars are flown in from Brazil to perform on a temporary stage set up in the middle of 6th Avenue. The crowd is so large that few can get near the stage, so the show is simulcast on an enormous JumboTron screen.

The celebration is centered around 43rd Street and 6th Avenue, an area known as “Little Brazil.” While the city doesn’t contain a distinctly Brazilian neighborhood or shopping district — in fact, Brazilian residents refer to themselves as “an invisible community” — this block is known for its concentration of Brazilian businesses and social events and Portugese is widely spoken.
Exuberent revelers drape themselves in yellow, green and blue (the colors of the Brazilian flag), flock to the vendors selling all manner of Brazilian goods and services, including music, videos, and fragrant delicacies such as pasteles (meat or cheese-stuffed dough), coxinha (deep-fried chicken pastries), feijoada (meat and bean stew) and churrasco (grilled meat).

Happy, relaxed and easy-going, they fill the restaurants and cafes to overflowing, gulp down caipirinhas (Brazilian margaritas) and doing their finest capoeira, batuque and samba moves, they dance, dance, dance the day away.

Little Brazil street sign

Brazilian bracelet

Two couples
Two couples

Watching the show on the JumboTron

Vendor selling food

Girl and carved animals for sale

Woman in headdress
Woman in headdress

Woman in Brazilian costume

Man in wig
Man in wig

Girl with flag
Girl with flag

Selling souvenirs
Selling souvenirs

Brazilian girls
Brazilian women

Kissing in the street

Official Brazilian Day Web site
New York Brazil Group
Brazzil Magazine: Brazil’s Biggest Street Party Overseas
Brazzil: The Invisible Brazilians
Hip Brazil
The Brasilians
TV Globo
Wikipedia: JumboTron

8 Responses to The Brazilian Day Festival

  1. Olivier says:

    Je savais pas qu’il y avait autant de bresilien à NYC, cela devait etre une superbe fete, je me vois bien danser sur un air de salsa dans NYC

    I did not know that there was as much Brazilian to NYC, that was to be a superb festival, I see myself well dancing on an air of salsa in NYC


  2. photowannabe says:

    Supurb photos showing so much passion and full of life.


  3. I love Brazilian food. When I used to live in Astoria, I used to go to the Brazilian restaurant for feijuada. Talk about GOOD FOOD!


  4. Cris says:

    Nice! I know there are thousands Brazilians there. It is not this way here where I live, so vibrant! I guess they feel very homesick and show their patriotism on Independence day. 🙂


  5. moi says:

    what an explosion of colors here 🙂


  6. Olga Petersen says:

    I was unaware of this event. More people who have lived in Brasil should go. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to do the samba and enjoy all the wonderful brazilian food we, who loved it, miss it so much. The pasteles, jijoadas an churrascos sound delicious. I remember it well, but need but need to taste it again, and again! I Intend to go every year, now that I know about it. Please join me in a wonderful day of fun!!!!!


  7. Steph says:

    i want to order that bracelet….any way i can?


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