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Mon 30 Dec 2013 11:07 AM

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Brazilian festival honours sea goddess

Brazilians have gathered for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea.

Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful carry offerings at a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather with offerings at a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
A worshipper walks away after tossing offerings into the ocean during a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with lighting candles and tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
A worshipper kneels over candles during a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with lighting candles and tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
Two of the faithful hug during a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with lighting candles and tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather and worship at the Iemanja statue during a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with lighting candles and tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
A worshipper prepares to launch a small boat holding offerings into the ocean during a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with lighting candles and tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather and worship at the Iemanja statue during a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)
Brazilian festival honours sea goddess
The faithful gather for a ceremony honoring Iemanja, Goddess of the Sea, as part of traditional New Year's celebrations on the sands of Copacabana beach on December 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iemanja is a goddess from the African Candomble religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. Devotees traditionally mark the day dressed in white while carrying a statue of Iemanja to the beach along with tossing flowers and other offerings into the sea. (Getty Images)