The most important religious and popular party on the calendar takes place on the second Thursday in January. Dressed in traditional white garb and strings of beads, Bahianas (of the uniquely Brazilian, slave-descendant religion Candomble) lead an 8-kilometer (5-mile) procession of similarly white-attired and perfumed devotees and partyers from Comércio to the (Catholic) Igreja do Bonfim for the washing (lavagem) of the church steps.
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, once a student of Le Corbusier, has opened a museum on his 103rd birthday. Famous for the city of Brasilia and for the UN Headquarters in New York, Niemeyer says his inspiration comes from the curves he finds in Brazilian women.
His role in the modernist movement was significant, and he is perhaps one of the greatest living architects today.