The demonstrations receive support from the Program for the Preservation of Historical, Cultural and Artistic Memory of the Renova Foundation
The communities of Mariana and Barra Longa, in Minas Gerais, keep alive the tradition of remembering the trip of the Three Kings to the encounter with Jesus, through the “Folia de Reis” festival. The celebration integrates Popular Catholicism, present in Brazil since Portuguese colonization and which was increased during the process of cultural mixing and religious syncretism, which marked the formation of Brazilian society.
The current celebrations of “Folia de Reis” are carried out according to the traditions and particularities of each region of the country. Thus, the typical foods, music, games and dances vary according to the place where the celebration takes place.
In Mariana, the party is still alive with the Folia of Master Geraldo Lourenço, which takes place between the 2nd and 6th of January. The celebrants travel through the countryside in the communities of Cuiabá, Pedras, Borba, Campinas and Barreto.
“Folia de Pedras”
In Barra Longa, two folias celebrate the coming of the Baby Jesus. The Folia Nova, by Mestre Osório, visits the districts of Pimenta, Serra de Santa Luzia, Águas Claras, Cláudio Manoel, Campinas, Barreto, Munhoz and Mandioca.
Barreto’s New “Folia”
Folia Velha, by Master Alcides Silva, celebrates with the residents of Engenho Fernandes, Goiabeiras, Cuiabá, Borba, Pedras, Campinas and Barreto. The two folias play in the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Pilar, in Barreto, after midnight, on December 24th and 31st and January 5th.
Barreto’s Old “Folia”
Declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Minas Gerais by the State Council for Cultural Heritage (Conep), the “Folia de Reis” has in its structure a ritual in songs, verses and instruments. Currently, “Folia” groups receive support from the Renova Foundation’s Program for the Preservation of Historical, Cultural and Artistic Memory. The program seeks to make the “Encontros de Folias” and “Festas do Menino Jesus” viable, promoting actions to strengthen the festivities, especially in the acquisition of new instruments, uniforms and the audiovisual record, enriching the cultural calendar of the municipalities of Mariana and Barra Longa.