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Salvador >  Event >  Bonfim Festival
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Bonfim Festival
 
 
Salvador
Jan, 14 2010

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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 - is honored in the month of January, always ending on the second Sunday after Epiphany. The "Washing of the Steps" of Bonfim Church, which takes place on the second Thursday after the first Sunday of January, is the high point of the commemorations. On this day thousands of people wearing white, the color of Oxalá, participate in a lively procession from the Basilica of Conceição da Praia to the Colina Sagrada or Holy Hill, a distance of eight kilometers. 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.