Street shop selling goods for the popular Festas Juninas (June Festival). From decoration items, such as paper flags and balloons, to costumes, hay hats and toys for kids.
SAARA is a well-known commercial area Downtown Rio de Janeiro, with narrowish streets, where the amount of people and the concentration of shops may remind one of old Medinas in Arabic cities. With hundreds of shops most selling inexpensive items, this is the place some cariocas go for cheap gifts, decorations, costumes etc.
SAARA actually bears no reference to the famous desert, except for the name. It is an acronym that stands for ‘Sociedade dos Amigos das Adjacências da Rua da Alfândega’. Streets with sound speakers every few yards, it has its own radio that keeps advertising local shops, directing people to buy more and buy cheap.
A bit about the traditional Festa Junina:
Festa Junina is a folkloric type of Brazilian festival. It usually takes place in schools, on the streets, communities, among groups of friends…
The name says it all: June is usually the month when most Festa Juninas take place, and this may be tracked back to the European start of summer time. Some refer to it as Saint John’s party as the saint’s birthday is celebrated on the 24th of June.
June is when the weather is colder, but depending on the mood of the organizers, some festas juninas may be celebrated in July or even August.
Typical foods are Caldo Verde, corn, “love apple” – covered on caramel, sausages and barbeque on a stick deepened in farinha for added crunchiness.
Proper festas juninas have a dance (named quadrilha) with typical songs and one person leading the crowd for moving about at the same organized fashion.
Men dress with square pattern shirts, trousers with holes, a hat made of hay and paint their teeth with black eyeliner to pretend they are missing some of them. Women paint fake freckles on their chicks and wear colorful dresses with round skirts.
Photo taken on 05/Jul 2016.