Goa Carnival/Culture Events

Goa is known for its beaches and colorful festivities. Amongst the several festivals that are celebrated each year in Goa, the Goa Carnival is the most eagerly awaited event. For three days and nights in mid February the streets of Goa come alive with colors. This weeklong non-stop festivity is a time when you will see lively processions, gigantic floats, strumming guitars and graceful dances in every nook and corner of the state.

This annual 'Carnival' is exclusive and unique to Goa. It was first introduced in 18th century by the Portuguese who ruled Goa for over five hundred years. Initially it was only the Christians who celebrated this three-day festival however today several other cultural and religious groups have joined in. Not only this, what started as a celebration of the locals is now the festival of thousands of people from all over the country.

The word Carnival has been derived from a Latin word which means 'to take away meat'. This festival has been named so because it is celebrated just before the 40-day period of fasting during Lent when consumption of meat is not allowed. Hence the three day carnival is all about singing, dancing, drinking and merrymaking.

The festivities of the Carnival conclude with the popular red-and-black dance show held on the final day at the Club National in the capital of Goa, Panjim. Apart from this other major attractions during the three day festival includes fancy dress parade, distribution of prize by the king Momo, traditional song singing in remembrance of the ancestors and consumption of great quantity of feni. Don't miss the grand balls that are held in the evenings and the mock fights where people battle with bags of sawdust.

Other Cultural Events

Goanese opens their arms and welcomes you warmly to be a part of their unique festivals and events. Some of the major theme based events that are extremely popular amongst the locals and the tourists are:

  • Feast of the Novena (Held in mid-January)
  • Procession of the Saints (Held in late March or early April)
  • Goa Carnival (Held in mid-April)
  • Feast of Our Lady of Miracles (Held in mid-April)
  • Igitun Chalne (Held in mid-May)
  • Feast of St. Anthony (Held on June 13th)
  • Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (Held on June 29th)
  • Feast of St. Lawrence (Held in late August)
  • Fama de Menino Jesus (Held on the second Monday in October)
  • St. Francis Day / Feast of St. Francis Xavier (Held on December 3rd)
  • Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Held on December 8th)

Apart from these other popular festivals of Goa are:

  • Pop, Beat and Jazz Music Festival (Held in mid-February)
  • Beach Bonanza (Held in mid-May)
  • Goa Heritage Festival (Held in mid-November)
  • Tiatr Festival (Held in mid-November)
  • Goa Food and Cultural Festival (Held in late November or early December)

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