“Annunciation” Twelfth Night (Terno de Reis “Anunciação”)
Kings’ Day is celebrated annually on January 6th. Traditionally, the Kings’ Day celebration starts on the night of January 5th to 6th, the day before Kings’ Day. This day is also known as the Epiphany Festival.
This Catholic celebration is associated with the Christmas tradition, which says that three Eastern wise men visited the baby Jesus on the night of January 5-6, after being guided by a star. The three wise men were named Melchior, Balthasar, and Gaspar, and they brought to the child Jesus gold, incense, and myrrh.
In Salvador, in the neighborhood of Lapinha, there are events that mark the beginning of the year with masses, presentations and samba circles. The Epiphany Festival, which celebrates the Kings’ Day, heralds the birth of Christ from house to house. The Lapinha Festival received the name of “Annunciation” (Anunciação), meaning the caroler announcer of the other carolers that come to visit the Lapinha’s Christmas Crib and pay their tribute in many ways to the baby Jesus.
Almost forgotten (or unknown) by the most urban public, this beautiful tradition still resists in the Parish of Lapinha, which has been developing a revitalization work of this celebration in recent years. The carolers present themselves on the nights of January 5th and 6th, at Largo da Lapinha. Everyone is invited to participate and experience this traditional popular and religious manifestation.
On December 5th, at 6 pm, mass is held in the Church of Our Lady of Conceição da Lapinha. Soon after, the procession leaves at 7:30 pm. It starts at Largo da Lapinha, in front of the Church, goes towards Soledade Square, comes back, passes in front of the square again and goes towards Pirajá da Silva Municipal School from where it returns to Largo da Lapinha. There is a stage there, where the carolers present themselves with a lot of music. They are classics of carnival marchinhas, samba, and songs written by each group. Around 8 to 12 caroler groups participate in the celebration and each presentation lasts from 40 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, another group is already leaving for the procession in the same way. On January 6, there is only the Parade of the Annunciation Carolers. The mass happens at 6 pm, the procession leaves at 7:30 pm and goes the same way.
Kings’ Day Traditions
Carolers and Ranches
These are traditional performances by Carolers, samba and circles, which feature standards, lanterns, different materials, tambourines, emphasizing the folk and cultural expressions of our people.
The front standards are something sacred, they emit the spirit of the caroler, its proposal, its mystique, besides being very beautiful and expressing a people’s thought. It is worth paying attention to every detail of them.
The Annunciation Twelfth Night’s Standard is in wine-color velvet, enriched with scarlet velvet bandó, with golden details, including the neighborhood’s name. It is made up of two large parts: the lower one, wine-color velvet, which represents the nobility of the announcement. The upper one, in scarlet red velvet, in the shape of bandó or baldachin, affirms the message’s nobility, based on the blood as a sign of the martyrs’ commitment.
There is a central figure of a trumpeter angel on it, in high golden relief, representing the richness of the announced message. In the four corners, four stars representing the four gospels, the four cardinal points (North, South, East and West) and the four seasons of the year. The compositions, in the shape of golden hearts, represent that the announcement wishes to reach them.
The splendor in white and silver represents the light of the announcement, recalls hope, innocence, purity and humility. In the baldachin, 3 stars represent the three wise men or the Three Marys shining in the universe. The golden details represent nobility, love, prosperity and joy.
Church of Our Lady of Conceição da Lapinha.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 1pm to 7pm / Saturday, 8am to 12pm
Largo da Lapinha, no number, Church, Lapinha. ZIP Code: 40325-220 – Salvador / BA
Phone #: 71 3242-9108
Igreja da Lapinha. Salvador, Bahia. Foto: Amanda Oliveira.