How is Círio de Nazaré celebrated today?
Although the celebrations start in August, the festivities culminate on the second Sunday of October every year when the wooden statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré is placed in a golden, flower-decorated carriage, and pulled along by thousands of people and a 400-metre long thick rope during an enormous morning procession.
Many people taking part queue up for hours before the procession begins in order to lay their hands on the rope, as it represents the connection between the saint and her followers. The event is known to be extremely crowded, with many barefoot believers scrambling to get some kind of grip on the rope. They walk from Sé Cathedral to Sanctuary Square in Belém, with the 3.5km journey taking several hours to complete. Most residents of the city get involved, and believers travel from across the country, and the world, to join the procession. Círio de Nazaré concludes two weeks later, when the statue is carried back to the cathedral.