Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Festa de Iemanjá takes place each New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro. This time of year is high summer for the locals, so make sure your suitcase is liberally packed with lightweight white clothing, as this is the preferred style for the summer evenings here. The massive firework displays over Copacabana will stay in your mind forever, but so also will the candle boat offerings that are set into the sea to honour the Brazilian Sea Goddess, which is what the Festa de Iemanjá is all about.
Just to give you some idea of the popularity of this event, have a look at the people flocking around Copacabana at midnight…
Iemanjá is the Goddess of the Water, but also the mother of all of the gods of the Umbanda religion of Brazil. She is offered flowers, perfume and other gifts, which are set into the little boats and cast adrift or even tossed directly into the sea.
Nice and gentle beach, don’t you wish you were there?
Gira da praia by dreadbang
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