Brazil is a lively, colorful country which know how to celebrate. There are a number of public holidays in Brazil (feriados públicos) throughout the year, each celebrated in a unique, Brazilian way.
The most famous celebration in Brazil is the world-renowned Carnival. However, it is not a public holiday though many workers have the day off.
When planning a trip to Brazil it is important to be aware of the dates of the Brazilian national holidays. They are very busy and expensive periods as many locals and tourists are traveling around the country.
Here is a list of national holidays in Brazil to help you plan your trip and give you an idea about how each holiday is celebrated.
Carnival in Brazil
Carnival is a six day festival which starts on the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday. The dates are different each year but it always falls in February or March. It is the busiest of the major holidays and festivals in Brazil.
Though it is not technically one of the state holidays in Brazil, many travelers visit the country specifically for the celebration. Travelers should book accommodation and apply for an eVisa Brazil well in advance of their trip.
Brazil holiday calendar
New Year’s Day (January 1)
Like in many countries, the celebration on December 31 is more important than those on January 1. On New Year’s Day in Brazil, it is a tradition to eat lentils and rice as it brings good fortune and prosperity for the coming year.
Good Friday & Easter Sunday (March or April)
Easter (Páscoa) falls on the day after the culmination of Holy Week. Many Brazilians spend the holiday spending time with family traveling.There are religious processions held throughout the country.
Tiradentes Day (April 21)
Tiradentes Day in Brazil commemorates the execution of Brazilian national hero Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier. He was a revolutionary who fought for independence from the Portuguese empire.
Labor Day (May 1)
Also known as May Day, this holiday is celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide as the International Workers Day.
Corpus Christi (May or June – 60 days after Easter Sunday)
Corpus Christi celebrates the Eucharist (the symbolic presence of Christ’s body). There are processions in many towns and cities and it is a tradition to decorate the streets with colored material and religious drawings.
State Rebellion Day (July 9 – São Paulo only)
The anniversary of the Constitutional Revolution of 1932: the uprising against the 1930 coup d’état when Getúlio Vargas tried to become president. Vargas was supported by the military and the political elites but was largely unpopular with the general population.
Independence Day (September 7)
Independence from Portugal was won in 1822, seven years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars which left the European powers weakened. A huge military parade is held in Brazil to celebrate the occasion.
Day of Nossa Senhora de Aparecida (October 12)
The Virgin Mary is the patron saint of Brazil and this day honors her. According to the legend, on 12 October 1717 fishermen pulled up a brown statue of her after a day of catching nothing.
Civil Servants Day (October 28 – Government and banks only)
A day off for civil servants and bank employees. Each year the government makes a decision to move the holiday or not. It is often changed to the nearest Friday or Monday to make the weekend longer.
All Souls’ Day (November 2)
Also known as the Day of the Dead or the Feast of All Souls in other parts of the world, the celebration commemorates the ‘faithful departed’ and people pray for those in purgatory.
Proclamation of the Republic (November 15)
The proclamation of the Republic is an important date in Brazil’s history. A military coup overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II in 1889 and the First Brazilian Republic was established.
Christmas Day (December 25)
Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Brazil. Like in many countries it is a time to eat, drink, and spend time with family. and Christmas is in the middle of the summer so the days are hot and sunny unlike in the northern hemisphere.
Other holidays in Brazil
Visitors should also be aware that general election days are considered public holidays. There are also regional holidays as well as federal holidays in Brazil. The eVisa for Brazil for US citizens makes it easier than ever to visit the country. Citizens from Canada, Australia, and Japan are also eligible for the eVisa.
How can I enter Brazil to enjoy one of the most important holidays?
All visitors need a passport to enter Brazil and most also need a visa. Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan can obtain a Brazil visa online without needing to go to an embassy or consulate.
The application for the Brazil eVisa is quick and simple. Applicants just need to enter some basic information such as their name, address, date of birth, passport details, and travel plans.
Travelers need to meet the Brazil eVisa requirements and pay a visa fee using a credit or debit card to submit the application. It normally takes 5 working days to process an application. Approved eVisas are sent to applicants by email.