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Country  Brazil
Area  56,584.6 km2
Capital  Joao Pessoa
Governor  Ricardo Coutinho
Population  3.914 million (Jul 1, 2013)
Destinations  Joao Pessoa - Paraiba, Campina Grande, Patos - Paraiba, Cajazeiras, Bayeux - Paraiba
Colleges and Universities  Federal University of Paraiba (Joao Pessoa - Paraiba), State University of Paraiba (Paraiba), Federal University of Campina Grande (Campina Grande)

(Tupi: para aiba: "bad for navigation"; Brazilian Portuguese : ) is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and it is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceara to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Paraiba is the third most densely populated state of the Northeast; Joao Pessoa, the sea-bordered state capital, and Campina Grande, in the interior, rank among the fifteen-largest municipalities in the Northeast of Brazil.


Map of Paraiba

Paraiba is most populated along the Atlantic coast, which extends as far as Ponta do Seixas, the easternmost point of the Americas. The state is a tourist and industrial hotspot; it is known for its cultural heritage, amenable climate and geographical features, ranging from the seaside beaches to the Borborema Plateau. It is named after the Paraiba river.

Some of the most notable Brazilian writers and poets are from Paraiba like Augusto dos Anjos, Jose Americo de Almeida, Jose Lins do Rego, Ariano Suassuna and Pedro Americo, the last being also known for his historical paintings.


Paraiba in the past, History of Paraiba

In the mid-16th century, settlers from Spain and Portuguese from Portugal, Olinda and Itamaraca founded Filipeia de Nossa Senhora das Neves (today Joao Pessoa) at the mouth of the Paraiba do Norte River.

Paraiba in the past, History of Paraiba

The area soon proved perfect for sugar production, with the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese all constantly fighting to control the Paraiba region to grow the lucrative sugarcane in. The fortress of Santa Catarina, near Joao Pessoa, was built to protect the city from the Dutch, who soon became a threat to Portuguese supremacy in Brazil.


The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 56.5%, followed by the industrial sector at 33.1%. Agriculture represents 10.4%, of GDP (2004). Paraiba exports: woven of cotton 36.3%, footweares 20.1%, sugar and alcohol 10.8%, fish and crustacean 9.7%, sisal 7%, cotton 6.6% (2002).


Paraiba Culture of Paraiba

The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets.

Festa Junina (Saint John Festival)

Paraiba Festival of Paraiba

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese for whom St Johns day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice but during the winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of St Anthonys day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peters day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets (step names are in French, which shows the mutual influences between court life and peasant culture in the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century Europe). Once exclusively a rural festival, today in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and cliches in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing), such as what happens on Midsummer and St Johns Day in Europe,and bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.


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