This Wednesday, November 15th, is National Umbanda Day. Law No. 12,644, of May 16, 2012, was signed to celebrate religion precisely on the day it is believed to have been established. Umbanda values free charity, without distinction of color, race, religious creed or social class. Furthermore, a characteristic is the worship of ancestors through the forces of nature represented by the Orixás and their messengers.
- Behind the Scenes: Daniel Cravinhos in film about the von Richthofen case, Leonardo Bittencourt recalls crime scene recording: ‘Impacting’
- Case of aggression: Record explains Ana Hickmann’s absence from this Tuesday’s ‘Hoje em dia’ presentation
115 years ago, on November 15th, the Caboclo das Sete Encruzilhadas manifested itself for the first time, in a 17-year-old young man called Zélio Fernandino de Morais. This fact marks the beginning of belief in the country. Since then, Umbanda has evolved as a typically Brazilian religion, based on the syncretism between Candomblé, Catholicism, spiritualism and indigenous elements.
Umbanda, of Afro-Brazilian origin, still suffers prejudice today. Due to religious intolerance, it is not uncommon for attacks on temples and practitioners to occur. To remember the importance of belief and the right to religious freedom, in 2016 Umbanda was included in the list of intangible heritage of Rio de Janeiro.
Currently, in the country, it is estimated that 2% of the population (just over 4.2 million people) are followers of the religion, including many famous people, who make a point of showing their faith. Check out some of them below.
The actress’ connection with Umbanda comes from birth. Her grandmother was a mother of saint (leader of the Umbanda houses) and she has considered herself an Umbanda fan since she was born. In some moments of internal questioning, she even sought out other spiritists, including the Kardecists (a spiritualist religion that follows the doctrines of Allan Kardec).
“I think people have to live their faith fully. It doesn’t matter what it is. I’ve had phases of a lot of internal questioning. But faith can’t be questioned. You either have it or you don’t. When it comes, you feel the Holy Spirit” , the actress once said in a live broadcast.
Also very connected to religion, Henri Castelli has already expressed his faith on social media without fear of prejudice. In 2018, she shared a photo of herself alongside her saintly mother, Neide Oyá D’Oxum.
“My second mother from Alagoas who I love so much for being this being of light, of kindness who helps everyone, more than herself! An example of simplicity and humility! Only love and charity!! May God bless us!”, wrote the artist in post on Instagram.
The interpreter of Petra, from “Land and passion”, is a regular at a terreiro on Ilha do Governador, North Zone of Rio. Despite having already known other beliefs, it is in Umbanda that she fits in best.
— I really believe in God. I have a lot of faith. I’ve done catechesis and also attended an evangelical church. Today I’m going to an Umbanda house, a very simple place, with people who come together to do good, practice charity and send good energy — she told EXTRA.
The 36-year-old actor is also an Umbanda practitioner. Among the rituals he insists on doing is wearing white clothes on Fridays (a practice of respect for Oxalá, the orixá that represents Jesus Christ; and his day of devotion is Friday).
Superstitious, during New Year’s Eve, Paduan lights candles for the entities he worships and always spends New Year’s Eve with a protective tab in his pocket, as well as a sprig of rue behind his ear to ward off negative energy.
The connection with spiritual issues is so strong that, coincidentally, the actor even made a soap opera with this theme. During “Beyond Time” (2015), there is a great passage of time and the characters have a second chance to correct the mistakes made in the past incarnation.
Despite not considering himself a single religion, Zeca exalts the entities of African-based religions. In a statement given to the book “Zeca Pagodinho, religions and suburbia: a survey” (Editora Conexão), by journalist Carlos Monteiro, the singer talks about his connection with all religions.
“I know Psalm 91 by heart, okay? I’m evangelical, I’m an Umbanda fan. I think I’m everything. If you talk about God, I’m there”, says the samba singer. The musician is the son of Ogum protected by Ibéjì, Umbanda entities that in Catholicism are worshiped as Saint George and Cosme and Damião, respectively.
Zeca has already said that he grew up amidst great religious syncretism, but that didn’t stop him from getting a tattoo of Cosmas and Damião on his chest.