The Procession of Our Lady of Nazareth is the largest Catholic procession in the world, happening every second Sunday in October, and is usually attended by more than 2 million pilgrims. It has been organized in Belem (Belthelem) for over two centuries, and it is one of the most spectacular religious ceremonies in Brazil. The first Cirio took place on September, 8, 1793.
The Círio de Nazaré was added to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2013.
As it is stated on their website: “The Círio is an organized moment to gather all the devout hearts of Our Lady of Nazareth. Everything is very well organized in advance by the Nazaré Festival Board (DFN), the Sanctuary Basilica and the Archdiocese of Belém. It is a work that is developed throughout the year: as soon as a Círio ends, planning begins for the following year.”
One of the most interest moments of the celebration is the Procession’s lunch, with a table offering regional cuisine. In the evening, the ceremony becomes more radiant with lighting of 4 thousand lamps installed on the edges of the Basilica of Our Lady of Nazareth’s façade.
The pilgrimage departs from the Gentil Bittencourt School, proceeds to avenues Magalhães Barata, Nazaré, Presidente Vargas, Boulevard Castilho França, Portugal, Praça do Relógio, and reaches Catedral da Sé (Our Lady of Grace Cathedral), where the event’s concentration takes place.