Bahia's Annual Events Guide
Bahia's Annual Events Guide
Carnaval.com  presents
Carnaval.com  presents


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Bahia’s ANNUAL EVENTS GUIDE:

Festivals, Feasts and Holidays

 Explore Bahia
 
When
What
Where
Type
 
 
 
Jan. 1
Bom Jesus dos Navegantes / The Lord Good Jesus of the Mariners Festival
The year begins midsummer with the  festival on January 1, literally the Good Jesus of the Mariners festival, during which hundreds of vessels of all types sail through All Saints' Bay carrying the image of Good Jesus from Conceição da Praia church to the Chapel at Boa Viagem, a beautiful procession of faith
Salvador
Religious
Jan. 6
Saint Benedito Feast
The Saint Benedito Feast Day, patron saint of Cairu,  is the most traditional in the municipality. It is preceded by the presentation of Saint Benedito’s banner. Folk groups and the local marching band parade through the streets of the old part of Cairu, a lively and colorful spectacle.
Cairu
Religious
Jan. 3-6
Festas de Reis; The Three Kings  or Lapinha Feast
an extension of the Christmas celebrations and represent the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. Of Portuguese origin, the Three Kings celebrations in Salvador have acquired over the years the characteristics of the typical open-air festivals. And it is precisely in Largo da Lapinha, against the backdrop of All Saints' Bay, where the stands known as barracas are set up to sell beverages and local fare to the many participants. On the night of January the 5th, the eve of the Epiphany on the 6th, singing groups called Ternos de Reis perform traditional Portuguese songs dressed in period costumes. The faithful remember, in song and dance, the Three Kings' visit to the baby Jesus
Salvador
Religious
Jan.
João das Botas Sailboat Regatta
Salvador
Sports
Jan.
Saint Antônio de Categeró Feast
Salvador
Religious/Folk
Jan.
Offering to Iemanjá
Salvador
Folk
Jan.
STEP WASHING is 2nd Thursday  after the 1st Sunday
ENDS
2nd Sunday after Epiphany
Senhor do Bonfim Feast
The saint with the largest following in Bahia, Senhor do Bonfim or Lord of the Good End - associated with the Candomblé deity Oxalá, the father of all the orixás (o-RICK-sa) - is honored in the month of January
nearly 800,000 people dressed in white accompany traditional "Baianas" wearing typical multi-layered white-lace petticoats and turbans. The multitudes parade through the Lower City from Conceição da Praia to Bonfim church, where the Bahian women bless those present by showering them with lavender water and perform the traditional "washing of the steps", in a ritual of faith and hope.  A fireworks display marks the beginning of the parade. Immediately thereafter, priestesses and initiates of Candomblé carrying clay vases filled with flowers and lavender water on their heads begin the procession to the Holy Hill to wash the steps of Bonfim Church. Civilian authorities, the faithful, and revelers accompany the parade on foot or in horse-drawn carts. The festivities include a novena, a solemn mass and the open-air festival.
 Fridays: Each Orixá has a week day consecrated to him; so, don't be surprised to see lots of people dressing white on Fridays, because this is Oxalá’s day, god of Creation, and his colour is white. Oxalá corresponds to Senhor do Bonfim (Jesus Christ), the patron of Salvador
Trios elétricos change the ritual atmosphere at the church to a party one so begin early and remember Oxalá, protects only those who go on foot, hence the local expression, "those with faith walk all the way
Salvador
Religious/Folk
Jan.
Ribeira Feast
Salvador
Folk
Jan.
Saint Lázaro Feast
Salvador
Religious/Folk
Jan. 24-Feb. 2
Our Lady of Purification Feast
Santo Amaro
Religious/Folk
Jan. 28
National Tourism Day
Salvador
Public
Feb. 2

The Iemanjá Feast

initiates of Candomblé (can-DOME-blay) pay homage to the Goddess of the Sea,  represented symbolically as a mermaid.

 
 The festival takes place in the neighborhood of Rio Vermelho, an impressive manifestation of faith in the power of the "Mother of the Waters". The faithful cast offerings into the sea, often chanting ritual hymns and in return ask for a blessing. (Sea Goddess also spelt Yemanjá )
Salvador
Folk
Pre-Carnival*
Washing of Feirinha Feast
Salvador
Folk
Pre-Carnival*
Washing of Itapuã Church Feast
Salvador
Folk
Pre-Carnival*
Washing of Our Lady of Light Church Feast
Salvador
Folk
Feb
Carnival Festival
Salvador's is 7 days beginning on Carnaval Thursday and finishing early in the morning on Ash Wednesday.
Porto Seguro and nearby
Arraial D’Ajuda are huge resort beach towns which also go into peak party mode for their Carnavals made up of mostly out of town young people
Salvador

Porto Seguro

Folk
Feb.
Procession of the Encounter Feast
Salvador
Religious
Mar
Gift to Iemanjá Feast
Salvador
Folk
Mar. 10-19
Saint John’s Feast Day
Salvador
Religious
Mar. 21
Saint Bento Feast Day
Salvador
Religious
Mar. 29
The Founding of City of Salvador
Salvador
Civic
Apr.
Holy Thursday Foot Washing
Salvador
Religious
Apr.
Good Friday Procession
Salvador
Religious
Apr.
Alleluia Saturday
Salvador
Religious
Apr. 22-26
Discovery of Brazil Festival &
 the Commemoration of the First Mass
Porto. Seguro, Sta. CruzbCabrália & Prado
Civic & Religious
Apr. 23
Saint Jorge Feast Day
Salvador
Religious/Folk
Apr.
Caxixis Pottery Fair
Nazaré das Farinhas
Folk
Holy Week
Lamentation of the Souls
Chapada Diamantina
Religious/Folk
April
Micareta (Carnival) Festival
off-season Carnivals featuring the top bands & trio electrico trucks of Salvador are popular throughout Brazil. One of the largest is held in April in
Feira De Santana
Inland Bahia
Folk
May 10
Saint Francisco Xavier Feast Day
Salvador
Religious
May
Bembé Market Feast
The people of African descent from Santo Amaro da Purificação, located near All Saints' Bay in a sugar-cane producing region, have commemorated the abolition of slavery with the Bembé do Mercado festival since 1889, one year after the Emancipation Proclamation. The festival is a folk and religious tradition in which the local population plays an important role as it is organized by the fishermen and fish sellers of Santo Amaro. It takes place in front of the Municipal Market, where two small stages are set up. For three days, starting on Friday, groups of samba de roda-a traditional style of samba danced in a circle; Afoxés-Afro-Brazilian Carnival groups; maculelê-a sword dance; and capoiera-an Afro-Brazilian martial art practiced to music, a warrior's dance, perform on the small stages alongside religious dances in honor of the orixás of the waters, Oxum-the goddess of rivers, lakes and rain, and Yemanjá-the goddess of the sea. The Bembé do Mercado festival also commemorates the end of official persecution of African-based religious faiths. This is why, as a part of the festival, an offering is made to Yemanjá on the nearby beach of Cabuçu.
Santo Amaro & Cabuçu Beach
Folk
May
(50th day after Easter)
Festival of the Divine Holy Ghost Feast Day - Pentecost
In Salvador and in many small cities in the interior of the state the Festival of the Divine Holy Ghost or Festival of the Divine as it is more commonly known, is celebrated with a lot of pomp, reminiscent of the Imperial era in Brazil. Of Portuguese origin, the festival was introduced to Brazil by Azorians in the 17th century commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.
 In Salvador it is celebrated in the neighborhood of Santo Antônio Além do Carmo, where a solemn mass is held at the church bearing the same name. Immediately after the mass, the procession of the Emperor, represented by a young boy, parades through the neighborhood carrying the banner of the Divine Holy Ghost.
In the city of Andaraí in the Chapada Diamantina, the Festival of the Divine, in which the entire population is involved, is one of the most important and imposing in the state. The Emperor's entourage is composed of children dressed in period attire.
Salvador
Chapada Diamantina

many small cities in the interior of the state

Religious
Jun. 1-13
Saint Antônio Feast Day
In Bahia, it is June not May that is known as the "merry month" particularly for
São João Originating in pre-Christian Europe to honour the harvest and fertility. Unlike the Carnival, Festas Juninas celebrate the ego, the constancy of life and hard work.
Various towns
Religious/Folk
Jun. 23-24
Saint John Feast Day
The São João Festival is commemorated throughout the state with bonfires, fireworks, Forró music and square dancing as well as copious amounts of liquors and local delicacies. The devotion to all three saints was introduced to Bahia by Portuguese Jesuit priests during the colonial period as part of harvest celebrations. A popular saying says that "Christmas is best celebrated at home and São João is best in the corral," in other words, best in the interior of the state, where thousands of people go to take advantage of the festivities.
A festival of fertility, the main feature of the Festas Juninas are children. Little boys wear patchwork pants and neck bandannas. Their faces are painted with signs of manhood – small pointed moustaches and smears of 5 o’clock shadow. Little girls blossom in gingham and flowered dresses with puffed sleeves, ruffles and ribbons. Swirls of rouge and fake freckles decorate their cheeks
The São João Festival in Cachoeira is perhaps one of the most traditional with Forró music and 3-person bands called trios, typical of the Brazilian Northeast. There is also an open market at the Port where liquor and local fare are sold.
In the Chapada Diamantina the São João Festival in Mucugê is worth a mention, as he is the town's patron saint. The exciting "war of the swords" - a type of fireworks - attracts tourists to the São João festivals in Cruz das Almas and Senhor do Bonfim
Salvador, and many other towns inc./

Mucugê


Cruz das Almas


Senhor do Bonfim

Religious/Folk
Jun. 28-29
Saint Peter Feast Day
Widows honor St. peter by placing lit candles on their doorsteps. Others enjoy the food, drink, dancing and fireworks throughout the day
Various towns
Religious/Folk
Jul. 2
Independence Day of Bahia
Civic festival commemorating the entry into the city of the victorious Brazilian troops that freed Bahia from Portuguese rule in 1823.
Salvador
Civic
Aug. 1-6
Pilgrimage to Bom Jesus da Lapa
Bom Jesus da Lapa
Religious
Aug.
first Friday before August 15th
Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte (Our Lady of Good Death Feast)
  Festival has as main objective to thank her "for liberty granted". This celebration has been held for more than a century in the city of Cachoeira, located in the area surrounding All Saints' Bay. The last day of the festival is when the Assumption of Our Lady is commemorated. The festival includes a three day devotion celebrated at the Our Lady of the Rosary of the Port of Cachoeira Church, a prayer vigil, a festive mass, two processions, a dinner and a lunch at the headquarters of the sisterhood as well as performances of samba de roda-a traditional style of samba danced in a circle. The Sisterhood of Good Death, a closed society that only accepts females of African descent is responsible for organizing the entire event. The devotion to Our Lady of Good Death was initiated at the Barroquinha Church in Salvador by freed female slaves who founded the society around 1823, the objective of which was to work and save enough money to buy the freedom of the other sisters.
Cachoeira
Religious/Folk
Sept. 27
St. Cosme & St. Damião Feast Day
Celebrated by all the candombl
és of the city for these saints are among the most popular
Salvador
Religious/Folk
Oct. 5
Celebration for Martyrs of Canudos
Canudos
Religious/Folk
Oct.
Our Lady of Rosário Feast Day (First Sunday of October)
Cairu
Religious/Folk
Nov.
Day of the 'Baiana'
Salvador
Folk
Nov.
Our Lady of Help Feast Day
Cachoeira is known for is candomblé events, with participants still conducting rituals in African dialects that nobody speaks anymore, but recognizable as variants of West African and Angolan languages
Cachoeira
Religious/Folk
Dec
Samba Day in Bahia
Salvador
Folk
Dec
Saint Bárbara Feast Day
Festa de Santa Barbara, dedicated not to the saint but to the goddess Iansã. In an example of Bahian syncretism, the patron saint of both the fire brigade and of the markets, St Barbara, is known in the Candomblé religion as the queen of thunder and lightning. The celebrations start at the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, in Pelourinho. Here an effigy of the saint is picked up and taken at the front of a procession throughout the Pelourinho and other parts of the historical district of Salvador, via the fire station, where it is met with the sound of sirens. The procession ends in the Baixa dos Sapateiros, where St Barbara's market is located.
Following the procession and accompanying the celebrations in the Candomblé houses, people eat caruru, a dish containing okra.
Dec. 12 in Salvador but the most important is in in São Felix, (across the river from Cachoeira )on December 4th is held the second most important candomblé event
Salvador

São Felix

Religious/Folk
Dec Christmas
The city's beautiful historical centre is decorated in lights and the program includes  events for children, concerts, dances, touring shows, exhibitions, processions celebrating the birth of Christ and the Annunciation, a Christmas float, other religious celebrations and a Christmas supper. The Pelourinho  is aglow with lights, angels (four metres high), stars and various other symbols of the Nativity. Father Christmas is there, and a huge tree.
Salvador Religious/
Civic
Dec. 31 New Year's Eve & Festival Do Senhor Bom Jesus Dos Navegantes  in the neighborhood of Boa Viagem, which is also where one of the largest New Year's celebrations in the world takes place. Of Portuguese origin, the devotion to this saint in Bahia began in the 18th century when the Boa Viagem Chapel was built in 1750. Two processions are the main events of the festival. The first takes place in the late afternoon on the 31st of December, from Boa Viagem Church to the Basilica of Conceição da Praia. The second is in the morning on the first day of January, one of the most popular processions in Bahia.
A spectacular New year's Eve celebration has been produced by the Bahian Capital since 1997/98 at Farrol da  Barra Beach with a program beginning in the early evening with a countdown &  fireworks at midnight
Salvador
Largo Da Boa Viagem
Religious/
Civic
More Annual Events
 [F] Porto Seguro -Discovery Coast
 [F] Cocoa Coast -Itacare
 [F] ITAPARICA Eventos
 [D] praticus.com/festas in English & Portuguese

Bahia Events
||Bahia Airports || Salvador Beaches
Coconut (north)coast || Dende (just south) Coast || Cocoa (Ilheus) Coast || ..Discovery (Porto Alegre) Coast || Itaparica & All Saints Bay ||  Whale Coast || Diamond Mountains ||
The Orixás are archetypes of an activity or function and they represent the forces that control nature and its phenomena, such as the water, the wind, the forests, the lightnings etc..