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São Paulo is the cultural capital of Brazil. The city's action-packed events calendar is reflective of this. It's also a city with a rich sporting heritage and is home to several of Brazil's best-known football teams. The Brazilian Grand Prix is also hosted here.
Aside from the major yearly festivals that the city is known for, it also frequently hosts concerts by the world's best musicians along with film festivals and art exhibitions.
Annual events in São Paulo
Anniversary of São Paulo (January)
On 25 January every year celebrations take place across São Paulo to honour the anniversary of the city's establishment. The entire city gets swept up in the revelry with free music concerts, food-related events, art shows and parades.
500 Milhas Brasil (January/February)
The ‘500 Miles of Brazil’ is a motorcycle endurance race that first took place in the city in 1970. Teams of motorcycle riders from all over the world descend on the city’s Formula 1 track. General admission for spectators is usually free, although there are also box seats available. Other features include grand-prize raffles for the public and custom car exhibitions.
São Paulo Fashion Week (April/August)
Taking place twice a year, São Paulo Fashion Week has continued growing since it was first held in 1996. Featuring local and international models and designers, Brazilian haute couture gets its moment on the catwalk in front of world-famous fashionistas.
Thousands flock to São Paulo every year to watch and take part in a spectacle that has become an integral part of Brazil’s cultural identity. Unlike its eastern neighbour, Rio de Janeiro, which holds celebrations on Sunday and Monday, in São Paulo the event tops off a week of revelry and takes place on the evenings of Friday and Saturday before Ash Wednesday. Troupes of samba dancers parade through the streets, competing for the prestigious championship trophy.
São Paulo Gay Pride Parade (May/June)
Officially known as ‘Parada do Orgulho LGBT de São Paulo’, this event is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the biggest gay pride parades in the world. Over 5 million people flock to the streets to take part in this festive spectacle of colour. The event is well-supported by the local government and is an international tourist attraction in its own right.
Brazilian Grand Prix (November)
Although the date can shift from year to year, the city’s enthusiasm for Formula 1 Grand Prix does not. The home of driving legends such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Felipe Massa, the event demands the F1 world’s attention. The city occasionally hosts the last race of the season, which adds to the event's magic and magnitude.
San Silvestre Marathon (December)
Held on 31 December every year, runners from all over the world come to run through the city’s streets in this traditional marathon. It's Brazil's oldest and most prestigious street race and boasts thousands of participants each year.
New Year’s Eve (December)
Much like Carnival, Rio De Janeiro might get the credit for hosting the best new year’s celebrations in Brazil. However, São Paulo has a good time of its own to offer. Normally celebrated on Paulista Avenue, around 2 million of the city’s residents dance the year away under fireworks at a concert featuring DJs and musicians.
►Learn more about what's happening in the city in Lifestyle in São Paulo
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