For 18 years, Vale has sponsored Círio de Nazaré, one of the largest cultural events in the world, which has been going on for 228 years in Belém and is known globally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In its 228th edition, in addition to the procession, the entire program of Círio, which continues until October 25, is also being completely online. Internet users can still follow and experience every bit of this great party in’s  digital space. Immerse yourself in this universe with videos, stories, recipes and music.

This year, for the first time since 1793, the procession stopped gathering millions of pilgrims on the streets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, thanks to the resources of virtual communication and the faith of the devotees of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, the Círio of 2020 had the same strength as ever in the hearts of Pará and was a success, attracting the attention of thousands of people worldwide.

Círio de Nazaré was inscribed in 2013 on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with the purpose of safeguarding the rich cultural heritage present in this celebration. Even in times of social detachment, the rituals of religious devotion and the cultural expressions that gave the title to Círio – one of the largest religious manifestations in the world and of exceptional value for humanity – were maintained. Among these cultural expressions is the rich cuisine of Pará and, therefore, it is important to highlight that Belém is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, in the Gastronomy category, due to the diversity and creativity of the cuisine of the Amazon region, also present on the festival days.

Intangible Cultural Heritage, or Living Heritage, encompasses the expressions of life, traditions and knowledge that communities, groups and individuals, in all parts of the world, receive from their ancestors and pass on to their descendants. Intangible Cultural Heritage includes cultural aspects contained in traditions, folklore, knowledge, languages, festivals and various other elements and manifestations, transmitted orally or by gesture, collectively recreated and modified over time. As this heritage is particularly vulnerable, considering its constant change, in 2003, the international community adopted the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In addition to Círio de Nazaré, Brazil has six other elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which represent a little of the immense cultural diversity of the country, such as the Roda de Capoeira, recognized in 2014, and the Cultural Complex of Bumba Meu Boi, recognized in 2019.

The support of the private sector to safeguard this rich Brazilian cultural heritage is fundamental to avoid the disappearance of endangered cultures. In this sense, it is important to highlight the role of Vale, a UNESCO partner in international technical cooperation projects in the field of culture and which, for 18 years, has sponsored Círio de Nazaré. This year, with the creation of the Vale Cultural Institute, Pará and Brazil gain a significant reinforcement not only for the appreciation and preservation of the cultural heritage and memory of the Brazilian people, but also for the development of the country. In this way, UNESCO congratulates Vale for the launch of its Cultural Institute and wishes long life to this institution of high relevance for the strengthening of Brazilian culture.

The program began on October 9 at 6 pm, with a mass at the Basilica Santuário, celebrated by Dom Alberto Taveira Corrêa, followed by the presentation of the mantle and live musical by Grupo Ama, with the blessing of the cord and delivery to the eight episcopal regions. On Saturday, October 10, the descent of the Original Image took place, at 11:30 am, mass in the chapel of Colégio Gentil and live music with live transmission of the decoration of Berlinda, in addition to other events throughout the day. On the 11th, Círio 2020 started with Mass in the Cathedral, celebrated by Dom Alberto Taveira, at 7 am, and ended with the closing Mass at 11:30 am.