Lavagem Do Bonfim
The Lavagem do Bonfim is an annual religious festival that takes place in Salvador, the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, usually in January. The festival is dedicated to the Catholic saint Lord of Bonfim and combines elements of African, indigenous, and Catholic traditions.
The centerpiece of the Lavagem do Bonfim festival is a procession that begins at the Igreja da Conceição da Praia and proceeds to the Igreja do Bonfim, a distance of about 8 kilometers. The procession is led by baianas, women dressed in traditional Bahian costumes who carry vases of water and wash the steps of the Igreja do Bonfim with the water as a symbolic act of purification.
Along the way, the procession passes through the historic neighborhood of Ribeira, where musicians play traditional Bahian music and street vendors sell food and drinks. The festival culminates in a mass at the Igreja do Bonfim, where participants offer prayers and make offerings to the saint.
The Lavagem do Bonfim festival has become a major cultural event in Salvador and draws thousands of participants and visitors each year. It is celebrated not only by Catholics but also by practitioners of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion that incorporates elements of Catholicism and African spiritual traditions. The festival is an important expression of the diverse cultural heritage of Bahia and has been recognized as a cultural heritage event by the Brazilian government.