Brazil celebrates powerful sea goddess Yemanja with carnival
The celebration of Yemanja in Salvador is considered the unofficial beginning of Carnival in Bahia state. (Photos: AP)
A follower of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble faith carries a miniature sailboat for a sea ritual on the feast day of sea goddess Yemanja on Itaparica island, Brazil. Yemanja is important for all of those who make a living from fishing.
A young woman dressed in the likeness of the sea goddess Yemanja, from the Afro-Brazilian Candomble faith, smiles into her mirror a she prepares for celebrations marking the sea goddess's feast day on Itaparica island in Brazil.
Followers of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble faith hold candle-lit ritual before dawn on the feast day of sea goddess Yemanja in Salvador, Brazil. Before dawn broke, devotees dressed in white and blue brought offerings to the Red River Beach and then later to nearby Itaparica Island.
A young woman of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble faith dressed as the sea goddess Yemanja attends celebrations on her feast day on Itaparica island.
A follower of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble faith carries a basket of flowers during a procession in honor of the sea goddess Yemanja on her feast day.
A fisherman prepares his boat to carry gifts to the sea, on the feast day of Yemanja in Salvador, Brazil. Baskets were loaded onto fishermen's boats to "deliver" the gifts to Yemanja, a goddess in the Afro-Brazilian Candomble faith.
People paraded toward the sea with baskets filled with flowers and other gifts, including dolls, mirrors, perfume and bottles of Champagne. Some carried fishing nets and images of the goddess.