The nights in Goa are known to be colourful with a lot of music and celebration, which is possibly why this state is so popular with tourists. This Diwali celebrate the Goan way by witnessing and participating in Tripurari Poornima. Also known as Demons’ Night, this falls on a full moon night and is marked by great fanfare. This occasion falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik, this year it is on November 6.
Tripurari Poornima also known as ‘Demons’ Night’ has been declared as a state festival and as a part of its effort to promote local fairs and festivals; Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has been assisting the Dipawali Utsav Samittee, Vithalapur Sankhali to celebrate this occasion. The festivities will take place at Vithalapur in Sankhali, near the Pundalik Temple. Goa is perhaps the only state in the country that celebrates Tripurari Poornima with such great fanfare.
[su_highlight background=”#1c58eb” color=”#fafcfc”]The Demonic connection[/su_highlight]
The festival of Tripurari Poornima is a part of a legend. A powerful demon named Tripurasur built three impregnable cities of gold, silver and iron with the blessing of Lord Shiva. The demon became so powerful and his inflated ego knew no bounds and started attacking and tormenting humans and demi gods (devas). Brahma and Vishnu failed to contain Tripurasura who was armed with several boons from Shiva.
Finally, the task of annihilating the demon fell on Lord Shiva and after three days of fight, Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura and destroyed the three cities – Tripuri. This great victory happened on the full moon day in Kartik month and therefore the day is celebrated as Tripurari Poornima.
[su_highlight background=”#1c58eb” color=”#fafcfc”]Celebrate, the Goan way[/su_highlight]
This annual celebration is held at Vitalapur-Sankhali on the banks of the River Valavanti. The highlight of the festival is the procession of Lord Krishna, followed by floating of lamps in the River Valvanti. After the arrivial of the Palakhi (Palanquin) procession of Lord Vithal and Goddess Rakhumai, symbolic killing of demon Tripurasur (Tripurasur Wadh) takes place and subsequently there is the release of Sarang (hot air balloon lamp) and fireworks.
The highlight of this festival is the decorative and artistic models of boats, the boats are miniature replicas of actual ships while others are traditional crafts mostly made of thermacol and cardboard. This colorfully lit up scene forms a visual treat for the large numbers gathered, crafted out of cardboard and thermacol floating in the river at midnight.
Apart from the boat competition, there are a host of cultural programmes which includes songs by well-known Goan artistes and performances of various traditional folk dances such as Goff, Dhalo, Tonyamel, Veerbhadra, Samai dance etc. As the competition progresses the competitors boats are brought and displayed near the shore. The entire Vithalapur village is perfectly lit-up and has the ambience of a typical Goan Zatra celebration. The grand finale has a spectacular display of fireworks on a full moon night. The organisers of the Tripurari Purnima festival award prizes to the best designed boats. GTDC has sponsored rolling trophy for this festival.
GTDC will arrange for transport facilities for in-house guests (at the Residencies) and local Goans to witness the Tripurari Poornima celebrations. GTDC Coaches/Buses will be arranged from Miramar, Santa Monica Jetty & Mapusa Residency 8 pm onwards and will return at 12.30 pm in the night. Tickets will be charged @ Rs. 100/- per person. Children above 6 years and below 12 years will be charged Rs. 50/-. Every year nearly 15000 spectators attend this festival. International tourists staying at five star hotels also attend this festival in large numbers through special tours conducted by hotels.