Lavagem do Bonfim Festival
Salvador • Brazil

From: Brazil Festivals and Events 2016-2017

See also: Northeast Brazil Festa de Yemanja

Lavagem do Bonfim Festival
The annual and popular Lavagem do Bonfim festival is attended by thousands of people who come to not only take part in the ritual blessing but to also join in in the celebrations afterwards.

The festival begins with a procession that starts from the church of Conceicao da Praia with devotees wearing white clothing, beads and carrying the important vases containing perfumed water along with beautiful flowers.

The procession travels for about 8 miles to the Church of Bonfim where even more spectators are gathered, eagerly awaiting the blessing that takes place. During the blessing the perfumed water that has been so carefully carried is subsequently poured over peoples hands and on their heads.

The steps of the Church of Bonfim are also cleaned with the perfumed water as part of the ritual cleansing of the church and it is after this event that the street parties often begin and contain plenty of music entertainment, singing and dancing not to mention plenty of street vendors to help keep everyone going.

One popular tradition is to have a Bonfim ribbon tied around your wrist and to make a wish, if the ribbon wears off naturally then it is believed that your wish will come true.

Date Of Lavagem do Bonfim Festival
The festival takes place every year on the second Thursday of January.

The festival takes place within the city of Salvador in the Northeastern state of Bahia with the procession beginning at the Church of Conceição da Praia and travelling towards the Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, Monte Serrat which is in the north of the city.

Travel Guide
Salvador can be easily reached by plane to Salvador's Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhães International Airport which has links to many other Brazilian cities. There are also plenty of long distance bus routes available to neighboring states and cities, although travel time and comfort can be a factor. Once inside Salvador there are plenty of busses and taxi's available to get you round.