Bonfim’s Festival gathers locals and tourists in ritual of faith and devotion

Lavagem do Bonfim 2014. Foto-Tatiana Azeviche. (229)

The ritual of walking eight kilometers, from Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia Church towards the Colina Sagrada (Sacred Hill) takes place this Thursday (15) during Bonfim’s Festival. Salvador’s main popular manifestation, except for Carnival, with 261 years of tradition, the event gathers thousands of locals and tourists to pay tribute to Our Lord Bonfim, Bahia’s patron saint, syncretized with Oxalá in Candomblé.

Led by the baianas in their typical outfits, carrying jars with scented water (prepared with flowers and leaves used in Candomblé’s rituals), the traditional cortege leaves Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia Church at 8:00am.

While the cortege goes on towards the Colina Sagrada, a presentation of religious music at around 9:00am prepares the public for the blessing at the cortege’s arrival, around noon.

Although it’s not allowed to go inside the church during the festival, the image of the saint stays near the main door until 6:00pm. The day usually ends with lots of music and typical food in the kiosks around the church.

History – The devotion to Our Lord Bonfim started in 1740 when the navigator Theodósio Rodrigues de Faria brought from Portugal an image similar to the one that existed in the city of Setúbal.


Additional information: Until February 28th, Bonfim Church is open from 7:00am to 9:00pm. On Fridays and Sundays the first mass is at 6:30am.
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