Good Death Festival relives secular tradition




In August, the historical city of Cachoeira, located 110 kilometers away from Salvador, relives the strength and heritage of the African culture, blended with faith, in the celebration of the Good Death Sisterhood Festival, which this year starts on the 13th and goes on until the 17th. The streets and corners of the city are turned into a catwalk for visitors from all over the world, crowding bars, restaurants, churches and museums.

The foreign tourists are researchers, photographers, journalists and visitors that wish to get to know more about the history and secular tradition of one of the greatest cultural manifestations of Bahia’s Recôncavo, passed on from mother to daughter by twenty-three Afro-descendent women. Respected and admired, these women that descend from slaves attract everybody’s attention when parading in the streets as real “queens”, with their impressive costumes, in a great demonstration of faith and devotion.

The Good Death Festival, Immaterial Heritage of Bahia since 2010, should attract this year around five thousand foreigners and hundreds of journalists, besides travel operators and agents. This cultural manifestation is inserted in the African Heritage plan of the Secretariat of Tourism and Bahiatursa, a segment that is considered a priority by the state government.

African Heritage

The Good Death Sisterhood is a Catholic fellowship of Afro-descendent women who represent the heritage of the Africans. With the golden era of sugar cane culture, the slaves had a big influence in the economical development of the region and contributed to the diffusion of the religious syncretism.

The Good Death Festival is a live example of the strength of the African culture, blended with the Catholic traditions. The festival takes place always during the first fortnight of August and attracts for the mystery transmitted in various ways, through the special costumes and the secret rituals performed with devotion.


August 13th

6:00pm – Cortege announcing the death of Mary, Our Lady, through the main streets of the historical Center.

7:00pm – Mass in memory of the deceased sisters at the Sisterhood Chapel.

8:30pm – Sentinel of Our Lady of Good Death at the Sisterhood Chapel.

9:30pm – Sisters’ White Supper at the Sisterhood’s headquarters

August 14th

7:00pm – Symbolic funeral mass for Our Lady of Good Death at the Sisterhood Chapel.

8:30pm – Cortege of Our Lady of Good Death’s funeral, accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra.

August 15th

06:00am – Dawn

09:00am – Festive mass for the Assumption of Our Lady, and soon afterwards Cortege of Our Lady of Glory, accompanied by Philharmonic Orchestras, through the main streets of the city.

August 17th

6:00pm – Closing of the festival with Samba de Roda, at Largo D’Ajuda – Treze de Maio Street, 32, Cachoeira + 55  75 3425-1468
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