The city of Corumbá, known as the capital of the Pantanal, is an awesome hub for those explorers who want to immerse themselves in the Brazilian culture without having to take distance away from the activities they love.
Away from all the commonly visited tourist spots, Corumbá’s culture and traditions are well preserved. The buildings in the main avenue vibe with history, the music the locals play in their parked cars on the side of the avenue on a weekend night invites you to join the party; and their celebrations, while a bit modest compared to those in the big cities, feel quite meaningful and they certainly maintain that contagious enthusiasm Brazil is known for.
One of these traditions is dedicated to one of their most beloved patron saints, São João or St. John the Baptist. Every year, on the night before June 24th the town gathers to take a statue of the saint through the streets and all the way to the Paraguay river, escorted by musicians and folk dancers that invite everyone they cross paths with to join them in a lively dance. Finally they reach the river, where everyone showers São João playfully to celebrate him on his day.
Unfortunately during this trip, we were out of date and were going to miss on this, but as the participants of this Adventure Week where coming out of kayaking and SUPing in the Paraguay river, the town was very kind to arrange a small surprise demonstration of the festivity so they could share with us one of their most beloved traditions, and what a great experience that was. Muito Obrigado, Corumbá! I’ll be back for the real celebration!
Photo taken at: Bar do Gelson