Public Holidays

Public holidays in Brazil

Carnival in Brazil is certainly one of the world's most famous festivals and is also the absolute highlight of the Brazilian holiday calendar. Officially, only Tuesday is a public holiday. Even the following Ash Wednesday is, at least by law, only half a day off. In reality, however, everything looks quite different. A state of emergency prevails for almost the entire week, and even schools remain closed for the entire week.

Brazilians are also a party-loving people, as the sheer number of holidays suggests. However, it is striking that in a predominantly Catholic country, Easter, Whitsun and Christmas consist of only one public holiday each.

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Non-floating holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

DateHolidayLocal name
Jan. 1stNew Year's DayConfraternização Universal
Jan. 20thSaint Sebastian (only Rio de Janeiro)São Sebastião
Jan. 25thFoundation of the city of São Paulo (São Paulo only)Aniversário de São Paulo
April 21stTiradentes Memorial DayTiradentes
April 23rdSaint George (only Rio de Janeiro)São Jorge
May 1stLabor DayDia do Trabalho
June 12thLovers' DayDia dos Namorados
July 9thConstitutional revolution (São Paulo only)Revolução Constitucionalista
Aug. 15thAssumption DayDia da Assunção
Aug. 28thControl and prevention of EscalpelamentoDia Nacional de Combate e Prevenção ao Escalpelamento
Sept. 7thIndependence DayIndependência do Brasil
Oct. 12thChildren's DayDia das Crianças
Oct. 12thApparition of the Blessed Mother MaryNossa Senhora Aparecida
Oct. 15thTeacher's DayDia do Professor
Oct. 28thPublic service dayDia do Servidor Público
Nov. 2ndAll Souls' DayFinados
Nov. 15thProclamation of the republicProclamação da República
Nov. 20thRemembrance Day to Blacks (not nationwide)Dia da Consciência Negra
Dec. 24thChristmas EveNoite De Natal
Dec. 25thChristmas DayNatal
Dec. 26thBoxing Day
Dec. 31stNew Year's Eve

Moving Holidays in Brazil

HolidayLocal name20232024202520262027
Carnival SaturdaySábado de CarnavalFeb. 18thFeb. 10thMarch 1stFeb. 14thFeb. 6th
Carnival SundayDomingo de CarnavalFeb. 19thFeb. 11thMarch 2ndFeb. 15thFeb. 7th
Green MondaySegunda-feiraFeb. 20thFeb. 12thMarch 3rdFeb. 16thFeb. 8th
CarnivalCarnavalFeb. 21stFeb. 13thMarch 4thFeb. 17thFeb. 9th
Ash WednesdayQuarta-feira de CinzasFeb. 22ndFeb. 14thMarch 5thFeb. 18thFeb. 10th
Good FridaySexta-Feira SantaApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rdMarch 26th
Easter SundayPáscoaApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5thMarch 28th
Easter MondayApril 10thApril 1stApril 21stApril 6thMarch 29th
Mother's DayDia das MãesMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10thMay 9th
Ascension (only Rio and São Paulo)Ascensão do SenhorMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14thMay 6th
Whit SundayPentecostesMay 28thMay 19thJune 8thMay 24thMay 16th
Whit MondayMay 29thMay 20thJune 9thMay 25thMay 17th
Corpus ChristiCorpus ChristiJune 8thMay 30thJune 19thJune 4thMay 27th
St. John's Day / Winter solsticeSão JoãoJune 21stJune 20thJune 21stJune 21stJune 21st
Father's DayDia dos PaisAug. 13thAug. 11thAug. 10thAug. 9thAug. 8th

Spectacular Carnival

Public Holidays The world's most famous carnival takes place in Rio de Janeiro — on a scale that can hardly be imagined. Thus, the time frame also goes considerably beyond that from Rose Monday to Ash Wednesday. In some cases, not only the preparations but also the festivities begin weeks beforehand, and in Olinda and Porto, the dancing even continues a few days later. The festival is not celebrated in the same way everywhere.

The spectacular parades with samba dancing are almost only in Rio and São Paulo. Elsewhere, people dance to afoxé, axé, frevo and maracatu, according to regional customs. The folkloric costumes with extensive feather adornments are also more common in the north, while in the south, people mainly wear local costumes. Carnival originated with the Portuguese, who brought it with them in the 17th century. Samba music, on the other hand, originated in Africa and spread throughout the country after the end of slavery.

Winter Solstice - São João

Brazilians also like to celebrate extensively away from Carnival. The second most important festival is "São João" — the winter solstice on St. John's Day, which takes place in the southern hemisphere around June 21. Since the date also regularly coincides with the corn harvest, numerous corn dishes are grilled on open St. John's Day fires in northeastern Brazil. Public dances are also held in many other regions. Although St. John's Day is a high festival of the Catholic Church, this day is not a public holiday here.
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