Every New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, millions of celebrants in Brazil mark festivities in the name of the sea goddess Iemanja.

But not many people know that she was taken to the New World by Yoruba slaves from Africa.

The celebrations on December 31 in Rio reportedly took in almost 3 million people, who danced, sang and chanted into the first day of 2020.

CGTN America reported that the celebration came at a whopping cost of $2.5 million to the state. But all of that money may be the right price for what the people came for.

Lucrecia Franco wrote,”…like many other Brazilian takes on celebrations, New Year’s Eve draws from its African roots. Drums, rituals of Candomblé and Umbanda, the two main Afro Brazilian religions.”

For worshippers in Afro-Brazilian religions, it is only fair that the water goddess Yemoja, or Iemanja, as they know it, is paid homage by the people in the country with the world’s famous beach culture.

Yemoja is a major deity or orisha, in the Yoruba pantheon of superbeings. She is the goddess of the sea and other waters.


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