What is the Goa Carnival?
The Goa Carnival is a highly anticipated traditional festival that occurs annually throughout the picturesque state of Goa. In 2014, it will take place from the 1st of March till the 4th.
Origin and significance?
Introduced by the then Portuguese rule as a part of their culture and celebration, the Goa Carnival was first started in 1961 and is usually held around the first week of March before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the 40 day season of Lent, an integral part of the Christian calendar that faithful Catholics follow marking the time Jesus resigned himself to the wilderness where he fasted and endured temptation by the devil. The Goa Carnival signifies a time of enjoyment before following abstinence and a reflection of penance during Lent.
Where is the Goa Carnival held?
The Goa Carnival is celebrated for four days, each day in a different city of Goa namely; Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco da Gama. The carnival can be witnessed advisably from the early hours of the afternoon and can continue late into the evenings on the usually bustling streets of the fore mentioned cities that are festively adorned with colours in observance of this symbolic gala.
What happens at the Goa Carnival?
Vibrant and colourful, Goa Carnival showcases an extravaganza that draws in people from all over Goa as well as visiting tourists inviting them to partake in its spirited and frolicsome atmosphere. One gets to witness a packed procession of bright and multicoloured floats, festive music and an intensely hued number of dancers as they make their way along the main city streets. Headed by King Momo, the legendary king of carnivals prominent by his jovial smile and huge belly, a train of floats follow him as their dressed up and masqueraded participants dabble in singing, dancing, street satire and merry making thoroughly enjoying themselves as they entertain gleeful spectators. Painted faces and floats portraying hilarious impressions rule the streets during these four days at the end of which King Momo distributes prizes to participants and their floats who according to the crowd have amused them the most. The Goa Carnival not only does a brilliant job in creating a merry atmosphere but it also brings people of various ethnicities together as one to enjoy this celebration as one big Goan family.