If the word Carnival conjures up images of vibrant colours, people dressed in fancy costumes, lots of fun and revelry, then the Goa Carnaval will not disappoint you! One of Goa’s most popular and enduring attractions is the Goa Carnival. Experience the carnival just like it is in South America, yet with a distinctly Indian touch. The carnival consists of parades across the length and breadth of Goa, most noticeably in Margao, Panaji, Vasco and Mapusa. Like all other Latin American carnivals, the Goa Carnaval culminates in the crowning of the indubitable King Momo, who is selected from the participants.
It usually takes place each year around February. It was introduced by the Portuguese who ruled over Goa for almost 450 years and is originally celebrated by the Catholics. The carnival marks the celebrations before the month of Lent which characterizes fasting. It starts on the first day with a grand procession headed by King Momo. Huge colourful parades take over the state’s cities as the streets become lively with the traditional carnival costumes, bands, floats & dances. Most of the streets are decorated with attractive lighting & grand balls. Goa forgets to sleep during this carnival as these parades continue throughout the night. It concludes on the final day with the famous red & black dance. It features a frenzy of tourist activities.
Most of the tourists indulge in feasting, merrymaking and drinking throughout the day. Although it started as a celebration by the local people, it has attracted thousands of people from all over the country and even from around the globe.
Dating back to the reign of the Portuguese, the carnival has a distinct Portuguese flavor; yet it has transcended any cultural or religious barriers and is an iconic Goan event.
How did it Begin?
The Carnival comes from early Christianity, and is celebrated in several countries, especially in South America, and is popularly known as Mardi Gras. The carnival typically falls on the last Tuesday before the Lent season begins. It is the last day that believing Christians eat rich foods before they go into the fasting or abstinence period.
With the long Portuguese settlement in the state, the Carnival has become very much a part and parcel of Goan culture and heritage. This 4-day jamboree of fun and folic is much awaited by the locals and tourists alike.
While Goa is the quintessential tourist paradise, nothing brings out the colours and flavours of Goa like the carnival does! And nothing brings in the tourists in hordes like the carnival does! Tourists Indian and international, looking to have fun and make merry make a beeline to this event. There are parades all over the streets of Goa, coupled with dancers and live music bands. The entire State is decked up in fancy lights and decorations. And of course, what is Goa without food and drinks. The sumptuous food and drink stalls further add to the revelry.
The fourth day marks the finale of the event and is a glorious spectacle to behold. The King of Chaos, Momo, leads this parade, urging the public to ‘eat, drink and make merry’. He is accompanied by a motley coterie of jesters, fire-eaters, dancers, clowns, acrobats and what-have-you.
It continues to be cool and breezy in February, so it’s a great time to be in Goa. Ideally, you would want to book early though, as hotel prices, as well as flight tickets are much in demand, and thus pretty high.
When: 2nd – 5th March, 2019
Where: Panjim (North Goa), Madgaon (South Goa), Vasco da Gama (South Goa), Mapusa, Morjim (both in North Goa) & Curchorem (South Goa)
Entry: Free, and open to all
Source: HR.com Articles