The female (African divinity) of the Candomblé and Umbanda religions. Its name comes from the Yoruba language terms “Yèyé omo ejá”, which means “Mother whose children are like fish.”
Yorubatans’ mother of water in Dahomey, from African river oryx to sea in northern Brazil.
In Brazil, the goddess Iemanjá receives different names, among them: Dandalunda, Inaé, Isis, Janaína, Marabô, Maria, Mucunã, Princess of Aiocá, Princess of the Sea, Queen of the Sea, Mermaid of the Sea, etc.
Iemanjá is the patron saint of fishermen. It is she who decides the fate of all those who enter the sea. It is also considered as the “Brazilian Aphrodite”, the goddess of love to whom lovers fall in love affairs.
On February 2, Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, is the largest popular festival dedicated to Iemanjá. On this day, thousands of people dressed in white make a procession to the Iemanjá temple, located on Rio Vermelho beach, where they leave the gifts that will fill the boats that take them to the sea.
Devotees take to the sea various gifts that are considered rejected when they do not sink or when they are returned to the beach.
Among the various offerings for the beautiful and vain goddess are flowers, trinkets, perfume bottles, soaps, mirrors and food. The ritual is repeated in other beaches of Brazil.
Celebrations in honor of Yemanja also take place on August 15, December 8 and December 31.