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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class - Holidays in Brazil Series at PortuguesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Brazil. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 23. The Cowboy Festival of Barretos or Festival do Peão de Barretos in Portuguese.
In this lesson, we'll be discussing Brazil's highly popular Cowboy Peasant Party—the Barretos Cowboy Festival held in São Paulo State.
Let's find out how it all began, the solidarity involved in the party, and other interesting aspects!
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Why is the town of Barretos so full of cowboys and cattle?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
The Cowboy Peasant Party is a popular event held in various parts of North and South America. During the party, “rodeos,” or rodeios in Portuguese, take place with bulls and horses, and there are concerts featuring country and western style music, or sertanejo in Portuguese. Hundreds of street festivals take place across the country every year, mainly in provincial towns. The Barretos Cowboy Festival is the largest in Brazil, but there are some others that are also prominent, such as those held in the towns of Americana, Jaguariuna, Araçatuba, Uberaba, and Marabá.
The history of the Barretos Cowboy Festival began with a group of single, independent youths. They decided to create a social club called “The Independents,” or Os Independentes in Portuguese, and to raise funds for charities by promoting events inspired by their local culture and farm life. The following year, they held the inaugural festival. Who would have thought it was destined to become the country's most successful rural event?
In addition to traditional rodeos, cultural events are held including traditional dances, “Garlic Burning,” or Queima do Alho in Portuguese and the “Maypole,” or Pau de Sebo in Portuguese, ceremonial dances, oxcart parades, and country music performances.
These days, the event is held at the Cowboy Park stadium, designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, with a capacity to hold 35,000 people in an area of 1.3 million square meters. It lasts eleven days in the month of August and is packed with attractions.
Many people come from abroad to attend the festival, because it hosts the top rodeo championship event in the whole of Latin America.
Furthermore, in 2012, the event raised over R$3.5 million in donations in support of the Os Independentes charity club.
The club still exists today, but it is not easy to become a member. You must be single, a resident of Barretos, and of independent means. Formerly, anyone who got married was disqualified from the group, but these days they’re allowed to remain.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why is the town of Barretos so full of cowboys and cattle, or gado in Portuguese?
The relationship between Barretos and cattle began in the early 1900s, when the first refrigeration plant was established in the town. From then, the town started to attract many cowherds to the region. Since the city lacked leisure options, they began to organize rodeos.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever tried to ride a bull?
Leave your comments on the lesson page at PortuguesePod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!

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Have you ever tried to ride a bull?