Belem Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Belem, Pará, Brazil)

Festivals have long been an important part of life in Brazil and Belem is no exception to this. If possible, try to time your visit to coincide with the annual Cirio de Nazaré celebrations in October. This actually ranks as the number one religious festival in the whole of Brazil and draws crowds from all over the country.

Further events and popular things to do are often staged at the modern Hangar Convention and Fair Centre, which is responsible for drawing large crowds to the city of Belem. Also of note are the national holidays and celebrations, such as Easter carnival (carnaval) processions and the Semana Santa festivities, held shortly afterwards.

Belem Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015

Each year, on the second Sunday in October, Belem fills up with huge crowds who come to enjoy the epic Cirio de Nazaré festival. Notable events include hymns and Catholic services, religious processions, children's activities and a spectacular firework display, as well as a popular fun fair at the Arraial de Nazaré.

In total, the celebrations last 15 days and begin on the Saturday, when the famous small statue of 'Our Lady of Nazareth' (Nossa Senhora de Nazaré) arrives from nearby Icoaraci (some 20 km / 12 miles to the north of Belem) via a river procession, finally arriving in the cathedral (Catedral da Sé).

On the Sunday, more than one million people take to the streets to cheer as the statue is transported to the Basilica Santuario de Nazaré onboard a carriage decorated with flowers and pulled by a long rope. The procession of the Cirio de Nazaré takes just over five hours, after which the statue resides at the Basilica Santuario de Nazaré for the remainder of the festival.