On February 2, 2020 Salvador Brazil came alive as Afro-descendants and indeed believers from all over the country and beyond trooped out in hundreds of thousands to celebrate Yemoja, the African deity of the sea, as they do every year on this date. We were there LIVE to bring it to you.
Festivities started the night before, with offerings and parties around the city, especially in Rio Vermelho, the central part of the city which is coasted by the Atlantic ocean. In traditional Yoruba culture and spirituality, Yemọja is a mother spirit and patron spirit of women, especially expectant mothers.
Her name is derived from the Yoruba words Iye/Iya, meaning “mother”; ọmọ– “child”; and ẹja, -“fish”. While West Africa worships and celebrates her as a high-ranking river deity, Brazil and Cuba revers her mainly as a sea/ocean goddess.
Yemoja is often portrayed as a mermaid, even in West Africa, and she is able to visit all other bodies of water like lakes, lagoons, and the sea. The Ogun River in Nigeria is expressly dedicated to her.
Check out the video of scenes of the event below, and follow our blog and youtube page to help us grow and keep you informed of more authentic African experiences.
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