Attending a Candomble Ceremony in Salvador

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216 Rua Fonte do Boi, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
www.singturba.org.br - (11) 4004-3535

Attending a Candomble Ceremony in Salvador Salvador da Bahia Reviews

worldcitizen worldcit…
84 reviews
Oct 28, 2006
Visiting a Candomble ceremony is a great way to get to the heart of the Afro-Brazilian culture. The ceremonies take place at Candomble houses called "terreiros" which tend to be on the outskirts of the city. There are ceremonies every day of the week and each Orixa (Candomble deity/spirit) has a specific day on which they are worshipped. Ceremonies usually start around 8pm.

Getting to the Ceremony:

You can get the address and time of a ceremony through Bahiatursa (tourism office with locations all over Salvador) and go there on your own, but it is safer to go with a guide. The ceremonies are at night outside the center of town so it can be difficult to find transportation afterwards. You don't want to be stuck in a favela late at night with no way home. It's also good to have guide to help explain the details of the ceremony. You can arrange for a guide through Singtur which has an office in Pelourinho. You may also be able to make arrangements through your hotel or someone who works there. The price varies depending on the guide.

Overview of the Ceremony:

Each Orixa has a color, and Candomble followers typically go dressed in their patron Orixa's color. It's not that important to be wearing the right color, but it's best to wear respectful, light-colored clothing if you're not sure. Photography and videotaping of the ceremony are not allowed. Both preists and followers are all shades of Brazilian and everyone is welcome. Ceremonies take place all day, but only part of it is open to the public. When we arrived, the musicians were playing drums and singing songs to all of the Orixas while the priests danced in a circle in the center of the room. Men sat on one side and women sat on the other. Ceremonies tend to be long, but the one I attended had a break and they served dinner everyone. They also had some food for sale. After the break, the preists returned dressed in elaborate costumes representing their patron Orixas and continued to dance.
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worldcitizen says:
I didn't go with Singtur, it's just the only tour company I know of that takes people to Candomble ceremonies! For the ceremony we attended, the staff at our volunteer house arranged a tour guide through a friend of a guy who did regular talks and tours for us. You can definitely ask hotel staff- everyone seems to have a friend who is a guide and/or a Candomble follower. I wouldn't worry about any method you choose being too touristy. Even though a lot of tourists go to Candomble ceremonies when they visit Salvador, once you're there, it's probably one of the least touristy things to attend. Bahia tends to be an unstructured sort of place and based on the few tours I did there, I bet Singtur won't be too touristy!
Posted on: Jul 02, 2007
sybil says:
thanks for the review, very helpful. are the singtur tours for the candomble ceremonies too touristy?
Posted on: Jul 02, 2007
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