Often called Festival do Boi-Bumbá Bumba Meu Boi or simply Festival, the event takes place during three days in late June. The festival celebrates a local legend about a resurrected ox. It is also a competion where two teams, Garantido and Caprichoso, compete in extended retellings of the story, each team attempting to out-do the other with flamboyant dances, singing, and parade floats.Each team has to its show within three hours.The team that does not follow this time limit is subjected to points penalizations. Each nightly performance is largely based on local Amazonian folklore and indigenous culture, but also incorporates contemporary Brazilian rhythms and themes. The place where the teams present themselves is called "Bumbódramo", a round, grounded stage. The "Bumbódramo" supports 35.000 people in the audience.
Despite the importance of the celebration to the Amazon region of Brazil, Festival was not widely known in other parts of the country until the musical group Carrapicho released the hit Bate forte o tambor in 1996.