Culture and Heritage
Lençóis, the main town in the Chapada Diamantina has been declared a National Heritage by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico (IPHAN). As well as the outstanding natural beauty and adventure tourism options Lençóis has a rich history with colonial architecture and a diverse local culture.
The town of Lençóis boasts a range of different forms of cultural expression using it’s African heritage as well as culture which is typically from the state of Bahia. It is common to see groups of Capoeira and Samba de Roda in the streets, and Marujada makes the religious festivals in Lençóis even more colourful and lively. There is also a strong candomblé community in Lençóis as well as Jarê, a religion of African origin from the 19th century and is today represented in the Chapada Diamantina in Lençóis at the Palácio de Ogum in the Capivara area.
The most famous and well known cultural festivals in the Chapada Diamantina region happen in Lençóis, Bahia, and are the Festa do Senhor dos Passos, in the summer (at the end of January until the 2nd February) and the traditional Festival de Lençóis which happens in October every year. The Festa do padroeiro dos garimpeiros, Nosso Senhor dos Passos, unite the religious and secular worlds. In the Avenida Senhor dos Passos, there is a stage which shows local culture and also from the capital of Bahia – Salvador. The religious part of the festival in Lençóis accumulates with the ‘lavagem das escadarias da Igreja de Senhor dos Passos’ (the washing of the steps of the church – Igreja de Senhor dos Passos) and the procession on the 2nd February in the streets of the town.
The famous Festival de Lençóis in the Chapada Diamantina occurs every year in the month of October. The event is very diverse and unites national Brazilian musicians with local artists from the Chapada da Diamantina region, folkloric groups and classical music. The shows are free and to be found in the town square – the praça Horácio de Mattos and in addition to the musical aspect of the festival, the Festival de Lençóis also focuses on educating about looking after the environment.
Lençóis has a rich heritage, and as well as the large houses and mansions which are spread about the main roads of the town, there are other places which cannot be missed. The church Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Rosário is one of these, as is the museum Afrânio Peixoto, which has seen physicians, writers and is the former residence of the family Sá.