São João makes every visitor feel like in a fairytale. The Holiday dates back to the colonial period of Brazil. This event is historically related to European Midsummer that takes place at the beginning of the Brazilian winter. Locals celebrate the end of the rainy season and give thanks to Saint John for the rain and harvest. The party takes place on the main place of the city and as Salvador was the first capital, the holiday is even brighter and bigger than in other villages.
All children dress traditional clothes and women put more red lipstick on and take more flowers to the baskets. The day’s characteristical feature is dancing and eating. Brazilian sell popcorn, all kinds of nuts, watermelons, hotdogs, fried curry chicken and give you a try of national mango or coffee liquor.
Music never stops. Children never stop running, throwing little balloons that blow up like bombs (after some latest events in Europe, my heart stops dead). But everyone has gotten used to it and the older generation helps the youngest to throw as many “bombs” as they can.
I experienced the entire happiness of seeing seniors dancing together fast samba or just turning ladies around. I couldn’t stop smiling from the view of young girls sewing leather sandals and hats on the streets.
Then the orchestra enters a party. Young men beat drums, trumpets, guitars, and violins. Take few steps further and you will see a little boy making his first steps in capoeira.
Later, in the evening the concerts start. All generations gather by the scene and dance, jump, laugh, scream. The singers interact with the public without back thought and bravely take selfies on fans’ phones. People seem to be carefree and light-headed. Suddenly the rain starts. And everyone hides in local café, market or pavilion. Due to the lack of places, people invite strangers to join them for beer, tea or Caipirinha. That is how new friends are made, here, in Salvador.