FESTIVAL OF IEMANJÀ
The first event of 2019 was, to say the least, a little unusual …. a party organised by Romero Mais from the Embassy of Brazil in Canberra, for artist in residence Christus Nóbrega to celebrate the goddess Iemanjá. To show respect for the goddess everyone wore white and/or blue, presented her with gifts of vodka and beautiful blue things while “sipping” on Caipirinhas and (white) wine. Iemanjá is also known as Yemanjá or Janaína in Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda religions. The festival takes place on 2 February across Brazil as devotees dress for the occasion and head for the sea. The Umbanda religion worships Iemanjá as one of the seven orixás 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 orixá Iemanjá of the African Mythology. Sometimes Iemanjá is depicted as a mermaid, but more often it seems, as a regal woman dress in flowing white of blue gowns near the sea. In Canberra everyone looked magnificent in white and a very big thanks to Romero and Leighton for being such wonderful hosts!