Sunday, September 2nd will mark the 34th annual Brazilian Day in New York. They made it easy to know the dates because it has always been on the Sunday before Labor Day. For the past 33 years this festival/concert has attracted Brazilians from all over the world in celebration of Brazil’s Independence Day. It’s one very special day for Brazilians and friends of Brazilians to turn Manhattan green and yellow. If it’s Brazilian, you’ll find it on one of 25 surrounding blocks of vendors.
The smells and sounds of Brazil surround the area known as “Little Brazil”. For Brazilians living here in the US it’s nostalgia at its best, for friends of Brazilians it’s a memorable experience.
The city of New York has always embraced the idea of having a day dedicated to Brazil and its people.
This yearly celebration started 34 years ago right in the heart of Little Brazil, on West 46th Street, with no more than 300 people. Today there are over 1 million people that attend and over 25 blocks of vendors. The main event is the concert. The enormous stage is set on 6th Avenue and 42nd Street. The producers bring in various popular bands and artists from Brazil, along with various surprises throughout the day. The concert normally starts around 1pm and ends around 6pm. A few of this year’s artists are the pop-rock band Paralamas do Sucesso, country music duo Matheus & Kauan, DJ Dennis, who, along Tony Garrido e MC Koringa, will bring a little of the carioca funk to New York, and a new star in the Brazilian music, Eduarda Brasil, the winner of the TV show The Voice Kids Brazil.
This event is very significant to all Brazilians currently living in the US, and especially for the “Brazilian New Yorkers”. These were the people who first embrace this event and in all honestly have helped make it what it is today. Below is an article that was written and published by The Brasilians newspaper back in 1987, right before the 4th annual Brazilian Day. Back then the event was on West 46th Street, today know as “Little Brazil”.
“Brazil now occupies a definite space among the diverse communities that help form the United States.
Historically speaking, this country was developed thanks to many immigrants, who are the essence of this nation. When the Irish people parade on 5th Avenue, paying tribute to Saint Patrick, we witness the power of their community, which helped create the fundamentals of the American people. The San Gennaro Feast, in Little Italy, marks the vibrant presence of the Italian people. Chinese, Polish, Puerto Ricans, Germans and Greeks also celebrate their national holidays here.
The Brazilian flag is unfurled right in the center of the biggest city in the world, flying the colors of Brazil. The Brazilians in the U.S. represent quality not quantity. They bring together many new immigrants and friends of other nationalities to 46th Street. Numerically, the Brazilian community is not large. However, during the past three years, the Brazilian Independence Day Street Festival has been present in the New York, foreign and Brazilian presses. May the next Brazilian Independence Day Street Festival be a tie in the relations between Brazilians and Americans, and also be the example of the strengthening of those relations in every way between these two big countries.”
More than three decades later, we can honestly say that things have only gotten better. Watching Brazilians and Americans gathering together in celebration is quite a sight and makes it all worth it!
For more information on 2018 Brazilian Day in New York please visit the website: www.brazilianday.com.