||Brazilian culture has a rich African
heritage. African-Brazilian cults lend a
very special flavor to New Year's
Celebrations on Copacabana Beach.
||Women in white turbans and traditional Baiana dresses
with delicate white lace sing chants, and dance to the
hypnotic beat of drums.
|Yemanjá is the deity of the seas, oceans and rivers.
She receives many gifts on New Year's. In addition to
white flowers, many groups prepare boats in all sizes
with beautiful images of Yemanjá, that are later put in
||Gifts are arranged in the sand with candles, and
include food, cosmetics, bottles of cider and champagne.
Nobody minds if you take pictures, but try not to
interfere in the rituals. Sometimes people watching
incorporate entities, and this is regarded as something
completely ordinary. Do not try to help, mistaking this
for a seizure or something.
|To participate, enter one of the lines to be blessed
by a mãe de santo priestess. This is called tomar
um passe (take a pass). The mãe de santo uses
her hands, blows cigar smoke... the idea is to take the
bad fluids away, so you can start the year fresh. It will
do you no harm, and you will actually walk away feeling