Yemanjá (sometimes spelled Iemanjá), also known as the “Rainha do Mar (Queen of the Sea)”, is a Yoruba deity. In the Candomblé religion, she represents the salt waters (ocean and sea). In Bahia, the biggest party for Yemanjá occurs on February 2, when thousands of people dress in white and go to the beach of Rio Vermelho singing, dancing, and depositing offerings such as baskets of flowers, mirrors, jewelry, food, perfumes, and other objects to receive blessings and prosperity for the year ahead. Offerings which do not return to shore are deemed accepted. Yemanjá is connected to the Christian Mary, Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes (Our Lady of Seafarers), whose Catholic feast day is on February 2.
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