Location: Salvador

The Festa do Bonfim is the main religious event in Bahia, and Salvador’s second biggest street party. It takes place every year on the second Thursday of January. The Festa is a perfect paragon of Bahia’s cultural uniqueness of merging the sacred and the profane. The festival begins early in the morning with a procession of Baianas wearing traditional outfits and carrying vases with water, flowers and perfume. Participants engage in a 5mile walk, parading and parting all the way to the church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim. Upon arrival, the Baianas wash the stairs of the Church, while devotees pay their respects to the city’s most popular saint. The party then goes on into the night with lots of samba, batucadas (drumming), dancing and drinking.

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