The ancient practice of taking a dip in the sea when clocks strike midnight on August 29 will be celebrated in Lagos’ Cais da Solaria with a three-day party starting next Saturday (August 27) and ending the following Monday.
Lagos’ ‘Banho 29’ will feature everything from concerts and DJ sets to body balance and yoga classes, a play, a swimsuit competition and, of course, the traditional midnight swim that has survived the old habits of country folk who used to come down to the sea at the end of August with all their animals to bathe.
In a statement, Lagos council says the origins of the ‘Banho 29’ tradition are unclear.
“Some say that the devil was loose on that day (August 29), and thus you could only go in the water at night. Others say it started as an end-of-summer ritual,” it says.
“Today it has become an event in which people start bonfires, play guitar, roast ‘chouriço’ and tell stories. The most daring go for a swim, others just wet their feet. But everyone celebrates Banho 29 in their own way,” says the council.
Festivities begin at 6pm, with concerts scheduled for 10.30pm.
Performers include Algarve rock band Íris (August 27), reggae group Chapa Dux (28) and Portuguese singer Ana Malhoa (29).
Admission is free.