Experience Bumba Meu Boi intensely by discovering the behind-the-scenes of this cultural event
Even before the festivities in June and July, the Bumba Meu Boi shacks in São Luís open their doors, revealing the magic behind this tradition. Explore art and inventiveness, as artists produce instruments, such as ratchets and tambourines, and make dazzling outfits with straws and sequins.
A unique chance to experience the exclusive brilliance of this festival and which can be enjoyed in three moments: rehearsals, baptism and ritual of the death of the ox, opportunities where visitors can witness the devotion and deep connection between the profane festival and the celebration of the saints Catholics.
Long live open rehearsals
From April to May, groups open their doors for open rehearsals, offering an extraordinary experience. Warm up for the festivities by participating in these presentations, immersing yourself in popular culture and encouraging the preservation of this Maranhão heritage.
During visits to the huts and headquarters of the Bumba Meu Boi groups, you will also understand the dynamics of the historical aspects of the manifestation, the identification of the style or accent, the composition of the group, the festive calendar (baptism dates, rehearsals, death of the boi and other scheduled events of tourist-cultural interest existing in the community), access to the group’s memorial collection – clothing and instruments, DVD recordings, video recordings and CD recordings, news in newspapers, magazines, among others.
Open to the public, the rehearsals become a fun itinerary for those who want to get into the atmosphere of São João. Some groups, in addition to their headquarters, take their itinerant performances to the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, attracting the attention not only of locals, but also also for tourists, researchers and enthusiasts of the rich cultural manifestation.
Participate in the Baptism Ritual
On June 23, the eve of St. John’s Day, witness the baptism ceremonies that mark the official start of the festivities. With holy water and the presence of spiritual leaders, the connection between the profane festival and devotion to the saints is revealed. A sacred moment that prepares Bumba Meu Boi to take to the streets and enchant the city.
Discover the Ox Death Ritual
One of the most memorable moments of the tradition, the ox death ritual is a unique celebration in the state of Maranhão. Immerse yourself in the dramatic narrative that involves music, dance, theater and religion, providing a rich and exciting experience.
At the center of this celebration is the story of the ox, represented by a large and colorful figure, who is the personification of the animal. The plot revolves around the death and resurrection of the ox, with characters who play different roles, such as the cowboy, the Indian woman, the shaman and the farmer. The conflict unfolds dramatically, culminating in the symbolic death of the ox and, later, its resurrection.
During the Bumba Meu-boi death ritual, tourists have the chance to experience the intensity of the performances, participating in the party by dancing, singing the tunes or playing the instruments, or just observing the colorful costumes of the participants and feeling the contagious energy that permeates the environment.
Alguns grupos de Bumba Meu Boi
Among the best-known huts of bumba bois groups in the cities of São Luís and Paço do Lumiar are: Boi da Maioba; Boi de Maracanã, Boi da Pindoba; Iguaíba beef; Boi da Madre Deus; Pindaré ox; Boi Unidos de Santa Fé; Ox of Faith in God; Boi Brilho da Ilha; Apollonius Forest Ox; Leonardo’s Freedom Ox; Barrel Beef; Boi de Morros and Boi de Nina Rodrigues.
The schedule of presentations, rehearsals, baptism and the ox death ritual can be seen on the groups’ official communication channels on social media and also through the Caminhos da Boiada website.