Parintins, located 400 kilometers down river from Manaus, in the middle of the Amazon jungle and accessible only by boat or airplane, becomes the focal point of an incredible regional celebration, in the end of June, when visitors come to participate in a remarkable spectacle that tells - through dance, music and celebration - the history of the Amazon folklore.
The result of the cultural influence of the Indians, with nature and mysticism as basic elements of the local traditions, turns Parintins into the cultural center of Amazonas during the last three days of June every year.
This is an exuberant festival in which participants enact the story of the death and revival of a sacred bull. Every year the bull, the Boi, is ripped to pieces and then resurrected through the power of many people dancing and playing the frame drum. This is a remnant of an 8000 year old tradition that can be traced back through the ancient Mediterranean cultures of Portugal, Spain, Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Turkey.
It’s three days of celebration with two protagonist characters, the “boi-bumbas” Garantido and Caprichoso, in a historic rivalry that divide the city in two groups. The performances of the two folklore groups transform the spirit of the local people. Lively supporters get overjoyed at the sight of the movements in the Bumbodromo - which houses 35000 people - where the presentation takes place during the Folklore Festival.
Three hours each night, in the three nights of the presentation, about 10000 players dance to the sound of the toadas and the drumbeat. The legends and myths of Amazon, as well as the history of tribes and their warriors, come alive through the hands of Parintins' artists.
A charge of fireworks and the "war cry" of the players, which reverberates in the bleachers, precede the showing of the boi in the arena. Then it is time for the parade of queens, princesses, stylized animals and other characters of Brazilian folklore - Curupira, Lara, Boto Tucuxi, Cobra Grande and many others - to be shown in allegories of great artistic magnificence. The highlight of the presentation is the play-acting of the boi's death.
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