Wondering why half of São Paulo seems closed and flocks of Paulistanos are fleeing the city?
Since 1997, the Ninth of July has been a holiday in São Paulo state (but nowhere else in Brazil). The feria commemorates the commonwealth’s uprising against the country’s military dictatorship. The governor of São Paulo had been elected president of the Republic, but was prevented from taking power by a 1930 coup that put Getúlio Vargas in power.
São Paulo’s forces ultimately lost the Constitutional Revolution (or Guerra Paulista), which started on this date in 1932. More than 800 Brazilians died in the conflict, and many of their remains are entombed at a giant obelisk outside of Parque do Ibirapuera. Several São Paulo streets also carry names to remind inhabitants of the 87-day civil war. Rua MMDC, for example, is named for four students who died in a conflict with federal troops at the Praça da República.
Metro today will run on a Sunday schedule. Banks and schools will remain closed and many public services will be scaled back for the holiday.
For those wishing to join the exodus, transport to smaller cities around São Paulo state can be picked up at Rodoviária Tietê, Latin America’s largest bus station.