Today, our topic of discussion is a unique cultural phenomenon in Rio de Janeiro. Today, we shall discuss the São Cristovão’s Fair, a celebration of the lifestyle, the culture and the traditions of the people of the Northeast of Brazil. But to talk about the fair and everything that one can find inside it, we need to first talk about the people that make the fair.
The Northeast of Brazil was once the richest region of Brazil; but that only during the beginning of colonial days. Since the 18th century though, there was a huge migration from there to the south and southeast of Brazil. The reasons were various: Famine, poverty, drought, the lack of any real support from the government to the more rural and poorest populations and the monopoly of fertile land in the hands of the old traditional families.
Here in Rio, the last generation of people from the Northeast arrived mainly between the 50’s and 70’s and things were not easy for them. Most of them had no to little education and so the only job they could find was in construction, so it is not an exaggeration to say that most of the buildings in the touristic area of Rio were built by those same workers.
Even being a hard working people, they were still victims of xenophobia by a large number of people in other parts of the country, including Rio, so the majority of them would group together, what would create a perfect environment for a pocket of northeast culture inside those communities.
Near where today we have the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, there was a sort of fair that happened every weekend, where those migrants could party and make some extra money, selling food, drinks and singing. That fair existed in that region for almost 60 years. In 2003 the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro would renovate an old industrial complex and moved the fair to where it is today.
Every year, thousands of people visit the fair every day, to eat, dance, drink and have fun with their friends and family. The fair is also famous for its free concerts of Forro music during the weekend.
If you want to learn more about the fair and how you can get to know this hidden gem of the city of Rio de Janeiro, click here
Till next time, guys! And as always, Be Unique, Be Yourself, Be Free!