Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Saturday, March 3, 2012

SYNCRETISM IN BRASIL (African religions and catholic as one)

Yemanja is an orisha, originally of the Yoruba religion, who has become prominent in many Afro-American religions. Africans from what is now called Yorubaland brought Yemaya/Yemoja and a host of other deities/energy forces in nature with them when they were brought to the shores of the Americas as captives. She is the ocean, the essence of motherhood, and a protector of children.

The goddess is known as Yemanja, Iemanja or Janaina in Brazilian Candomble and Umbanda religions.
The Umbanda religion worships Iemanja as one of the seven orixas of the African Pantheon. She is the Queen of the Ocean, the patron deity of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks, the feminine principle of creation and the spirit of moonlight. A syncretism happens between the catholic Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes (Our Lady of the Seafaring) and the orixa Iemanja of the African Mithology. Sometimes, a feast can honor both.
In Salvador, Bahia, Iemanja is celebrated by Candomble on the very same day consecrated by the Catholic Church to Our Lady of Seafaring (Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes). Every February 2, thousands of people line up at dawn to leave their offerings at her shrine in Rio Vermelho.
Gifts for Iemanja usually include flowers and objects of female vanity (perfume, jewelry, combs, lipsticks, mirrors). These are gathered in large baskets and taken out to the sea by local fishermen. Afterwards a massive street party ensues.
Iemanjá is also celebrated every December 8 in Salvador, Bahia. The Festa da Conceicao da Praia (Feast to Our Lady of Conception of the church at the beach) is a city holiday dedicated to the Catholic saint and also to Iemanja. Another feast occurs on this day in the Pedra Furada, Monte Serrat in Salvador, Bahia, called the Gift to Iemanja, when fishermen celebrate their devotion to the Queen of the Ocean.
Outside Bahia State, Iemanja is celebrated mainly by followers of the Umbanda religion.
On New Year's Eve in Rio de Janeiro, millions of cariocas, of all religions, dressed in white gather on Copacabana beach to greet the New Year, watch fireworks, and throw (white) flowers and other offerings into the sea for the goddess in the hopes that she will grant them their requests for the coming year. Some send their gifts to Iemanja in wooden toy boats. Paintings of Iemanja are sold in Rio shops, next to paintings of Jesus and other Catholic saints. They portray her as a woman rising out of the sea. Small offerings of flowers and floating candles are left in the sea on many nights at Copacabana.
In Sao Paulo State, Iemanja is celebrated in the two first weekends of December on the shores of Praia Grande city. During these days many vehicles garnished with Iemanja icons and colors (white and blue) roam from the São Paulo mountains to the seashore, some of them traveling hundreds of miles. Thousands of people rally near Iemanja's statue in Praia Grande beach.
In Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, on February 2, the image of Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes is carried to the port of Pelotas. Before the closing of the catholic feast, the boats stop and host the Umbanda followers that carry the image of Iemanjá, in a syncretic meeting that is watched by thousand of people on the shore.

SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

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