Aside from Carnaval, Paraty comes alive in the winter months (May–August) for several popular festas. The Festa do Divino takes place 40 days after Easter and lasts for two weeks. This colorful religious festival originated in the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Açores. Religious parades and celebrations are held along with theatrical, dance, and musical performances that take place in the street.
During the third weekend in August, cachaça lovers from far and wide descend upon the town for the Festival da Pinga, at which time the streets are flooded with the local liquor.
Not just for bookworms, the Festa Literária Internacional (www.flip.org.br), which takes place for five days in August, lures more visitors to Paraty than Carnaval. Aside from readings and debates attended by the likes of Paul Auster, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and Ian McEwan, the town comes alive with cultural and culinary happenings.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition