This monsoon feast has special significance in Christianity as it is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the firebrand prophet. Newly married or those with a new-born (where new means after the previous Sao Jao) are in the spotlight during Sao Jao Feast. They gather with the dali and gifts containing seasonal fruits like moussrad mango (a Goan variety), pineapples, jackfruits and a bottle of Feni. New brides and girls of marriageable age are blessed and they throw flowers, vegetables and seasonal fruit in the water body to fulfill their wishes. Young men then jump in the ponds and wells to collect them. The environment reverberates witheverybody rejoicing “Sao Joao, Sao Joao, Viva Sao Joao”. Tradition has it that the son-in-law is invited by his mother-in-law for a feast, which includes an array of Goan delicacies, especially sanas withsorpotel
Panaji, June 22, 2014: Goa is many things to many people and one of the foremost among these is: Celebration. The people of this state have an infectious spirit which makes Goa a popular venue for any kind of celebration right from weddings to reunions and even festivals. Monsoons in the state are a time when there is a lot of greenery everywhere and is a great time to visit if you want to see a calmer and more refreshing side of Goa. The monsoon also brings in a festival that is unique to the state and celebrates everything that is quintessentially Goan – the Sao Jao festival. This is the feast of St. John the Baptist and is celebrated on June 24 every year.
On this day, high spirited young men jump into wells to retrieve gifts thrown in by the villagers. Sao Jao is also marked by boat races that take place in Siolim, North Goa. Sao Jao, like any other Goan feast has that captivating spirit of merriment, colour and tradition. People dressed in colourful outfits from several villages meet near a stream front in carnival-coloured boats and floats. It is akin to the Carnival in few ways. It is celebrated with great fervour and gusto, particularly in Siolim, Anjuna, Candolim, Calangute and Assagao.
Goa Tourism is planning to promote this festival in various manners, one of the special events is a cruise that will be organized aboard the Santa Monica where visitors can bask in the festive fervor while taking a look at some breathtaking sights of Goa.