[su_heading size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”10″]FESTIVALS IN GOA[/su_heading]
Festivals in Goa are unique and different compare to the other parts of the India. There are some festivals which only takes place in Goa and no other parts of India. especially the festivals like Carnival, Shigmo, Intruz, Zatra of Lairai and many more… this page will provide you brief details of the each of the festivals celebrated in Goa.
Carnival is the annual 4 day celebration which begins on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, heralding a 40-day Lent period of penance and abstinence before Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus. The 4 day Carnival has become world famous in Rio. The Goa Carnival, led by King Momo, has its own pulsating rhythms of guitars, folk songs and drumbeats accompanying a colourful parade of floats and dancing troupes in all the major towns.
Feast of St Francis Xavier
The major Feast of St Francis Xavier is held on the 3rd December at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. St Francis Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary, is the patron saint of Goa and attracts devotees from all over the world. His body has been preserved for centuries and lies in an exquisite silver casket at the Basilica and is displayed every ten years during the Exposition.. However, the feast is celebrated every year, drawing thousands of devotees from across India in quest of the saint’s blessings and healing powers.
For the devout, the celebrations begin on Christmas Eve and before. Carols are sung and various churches organize Midnight Mas. The service on Christmas Day is widely attended and people assemble in their homes for family get-togethers. In Goa, Christmas is celebrated in the European way with the celebrations revolving around the family. But it has strands woven in that go to make it a Goan one. A week or 10 days before Christmas, a family or village group with one among them dressed as Santa go carol singing with a box to raise funds for the poor. Beautiful stars symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem decorate Christian homes all over the State.
The feast of St John the Baptist on June 24th is celebrated by young men all over Goa by jumping into wells to retrieve gifts thrown in by Villagers.Taking place at the beginning of the monsoon season in Goa with people of all ages jumping into wells, streams and ponds. This generally after getting into the spirit of things by imbibing Goa’s famous liquor feni. San Joao, like any other Goan feast, has that captivating spirit of merriment, colour and tradition…
The famous Bonderam festival is celebrated in Divar on the 4th Saturday of August during the monsoon.It’s a memoir to the dispute and the fury of the Villagers over the Portuguese system of resolving the disputes. The villagers on the Divar Island often indulged in some kind of fight over the matter of ownership of their lands. To stop the disputes the Portuguese, put up flags at the boundaries. The villagers did not like this system. So they protested against the Portuguese by throwing stones at the flags. On this day a carnival ambiance is created. Each section of the village has a float at the parade. Melodious music could be heard throughout the village. The gaily colored floats accompanied by colorfully dressed youngsters make a pretty picture.
This is Goa’s answer to Holi, which is a festival of colour. Huge dance troupes perform intricate movements of folk dances on the road all through the length of the parade. Many troupes number more than 100 and they dance tirelessly, as they have been doing for centuries.
Ganesh Chaturthi or Chavoth, undoubtedly is the most popular festival of Goa. Celebrated around August or September, it sees the return of most Goans to their native place of birth or their ancestral houses to join the entire family.Heavily decorated clay idols of Lord Ganesh receive offerings and prayers from devotees. The end of Chaturthi is marked by a procession leading to the immersion of the idol into the river or the sea.
Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated all over India. Its roots go back more than 7000 years to the time when Lord Ram killed the demon king Ravan. Ram was welcomed in his hometown Ayodhya by a celebration of crackers and lights. In northern India, the festival ends when an effigy of Ravan is burnt with an arrow of Ram.
In Goa the effigies of Narkasur as the demon King Ravan are burned one day before Diwali. All around Goa, gigantic straw and paper effigies of Narkasur – dressed in colourful paper clothes and armed with swords and other armaments – are erected in the days preceding Diwali. They are then burnt just before sunrise.