The month of June marks the beginning of the fall harvest in Brazil, and throughout this period, people all over the country celebrate the farmers' and fishermen's patron saints, Anthony, John and Peter. Anthony also reputedly helps single women find husbands, or so says the legend.
If you reckon that these fun-loving people would do so with processions and prayer, think again – what they actually do is – what else – party.
They don straw hats, patched jeans and shirts in the best caipira (hillbilly) style and join night-long dances in honor of the people who labor the land.
Not to miss out on this unique folkloric expression, the Brazilian community at the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii holds its annual Festa Junina, which features a highly improvised square dance with a mock shotgun wedding to boot.
They will also be offering typical food and drink, such as farofa (cassava flour with vegetables or meat), coxinha (a chicken-based fritter), pé-de-moleque ("brat's foot," peanut brittle) and other goodies.
Everything is prepared on-site by volunteers (including yours truly) and sold at really inexpensive prices. Eat, drink up and dance while helping a worthy cause – all proceeds will benefit the reconstruction of the church grounds, which are in dire need of repair.
Saturday, June 16 – 5 pmÂ – 12 am, Free admission.
Church of Our Lady of Pompeii (basement)
25 Carmine Street (on the intersection of Bleecker and 6th Avenue),
For more information, visit http://www.catolicosny.org