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In the heart of Brazilian Amazonia is Manaus, the gateway to Amazonia, a huge swath of over 4,000 square kilometers, covering nine Brazilian states and home to most of the nearly 210 indigenous tribes in the country.
Manaus is a perfect destination for those who are fond of ecotourism, thanks to its many natural parks and environmental reserves. Tourists can enjoy sightings of typical animals in the region, such as a fish known as the peixe-boi-da-amazônia and several species of macaws.
Now, if you happen to be in Manaus during late June you must go on an excursion to Ilha de Parintins, the island where one of the most famous folklore events in Brazil takes place: the boi-bumbá (this year it's being held today through Sunday). At a specially built venue called the bumbódromo, nearly 4,000 extras perform split into two competing groups, Caprichoso and Garantido. These two groups try to win over the audience in a show filled with color, dance, rhythm and fantastic animals, staging the death and resurrection of an ox.
The ox - the eponymous boi-bumbá - is the main character in this event. Legend has it that it was sacrificed by the man taking care of it to please his wife. Afterwards, fearing the consequences of what he had done, he tried to revive the animal with the help of a witch doctor, a priest and the beat of a drum.
Originally the festival was celebrated under a single red flag with a white ox called Garantido with a red heart. Over time a new group arose, bringing together people who did not agree on how the festival was developing. This faction was named Caprichoso and their standard consists of a blue flag with a black ox, this one with a blue star on his head. Today, Garantido and Caprichoso face off in a duel of dance, music, shows and parades, vying to prove which of the two is the better ox.
The greatness of this festivity lies in the love with which it is prepared, making a unique show whose participants every year look forward to the welcoming cheer of the audience, the natural heritage and the cultural diversity resulting from the many peoples who have left their mark.
“The Amazon River recovers its name at the point where the Solimões and Negro Rivers meet, in the city of Manaus. This is the city where IBEROSTAR has the mooring point of one of the jewels of its exclusive Grand Collection: the Grand Hotel-Ship Amazon, a super luxury floating hotel, all inclusive and for guests starting from the age of 10 years. This hotel ship takes into the deepest parts of nature.”
from our blog PassportTo...