The Carnival is one of many traditions left behind by our Portuguese rulers after spending more than four centuries here.
Goa Carnival Happens just Before Lent
Usually taking place before the season of lent, Carnival is celebrated during the months of either February or March. Being celebrated before lent, it takes place in areas with a large Catholic population.
During the Portuguese evangelization of Goa a majority of the population ended up Catholic and after they left, the Portuguese traditions remained and most of them are practised even today. Feasts of many saints are celebrated the way they would be in Portugal.
Carnival takes place in every major city in Goa, giving the general public a chance to participate at least once, while others may travel to every city to watch it happen. The areas where the Goa Carnival takes place are Panjim, Mapusa, Margao and Vasco.
Goa Carnival is Celebrated before 40 Days of Penance
Once started as a festival commemorating the beginning of lent among the Catholics now enjoyed by everyone all over Goa and in many other parts of the world. Not just the Catholics but the Hindus and Muslims enjoy a fair share of the excitement in Goa and not just Goa but the rest of India pays a Goa a visit to see what all the fuss is about.
The history of the Carnival in general dates back to the parties and feasts celebrated in the Roman and Greek Empires but was brought to Goa not for our love for Roman and Greek history but by the Portuguese.
Viva Goa Carnival! A Procession of Floats of all Colours and Kinds
Many events are held as part of the Carnival celebration, beginning with music, dancing and processions. During these processions various issues are brought to light using a playful and lethargic style. Now however most of it is commercialized. Huge firms and businesses that are trying to get attention use the Carnival as an opportunity to advertise their brand and services. Furthermore paying for the costumes and the floats.
In several places after the Carnival procession there are prizes handed out to the best float, the best dressed contestant and for various other categories.
Goa Carnival is Organized by
The Government has a large role to play in the organization of the carnival, the Government spends large sums of money every year to make sure the Carnival ends up a success. A few years ago the Govt had cancelled the Carnival here in Goa since a bus full of school children crashed into a river killing all on board.
Many politicians in Goa sponsor floats to make light of many happenings in their constituency. Some big businessmen also have floats to advertise their products and on rare occasions even distribute free samples. Others are done by small organizations pooling resources together to have a float of their own.