February 02, 2016

CELEBRATING IEMANJÁ - GODDESS OF THE SEA

Iemanjá is the goddess of the sea, and is adored not only by traditional fishermen for whom she acts as a guardian angel, but also by the townwomen of Trancoso who view her as a sympathetic feminine figure and protector.

In the fading afternoon sun of February 2nd, a large group of native practitioners of Candomblé and Umbanda religions (which share roots in West African Yoruba faith - brought to Brasil by slaves) gather in the Historic Quadrado wearing traditional white dress, chanting and singing to the rhythm of ancient drumbeats.

Following the drummers, a procession forms and walks downhill to the beach singing and swaying to the music,s arriving just meters from UXUA Praia where offerings to Iemanjá are placed in small wooden boats and pushed out to sea.

The offerings made to flatter and indulge the beautiful goddess, include white fragrant flowers, fruits and sweets, perfumes, soaps, jewellery, and any other small objects which might enhance feminine beauty.