Goa Carnival Festival
When: February, before Easter
Where: Entire Goa
Duration: Three Days
Highlights: Street plays, songs, dances, parades, feasting and
One of the most colorful and popular festival
of Goa is the Goa Carnival. This three day extravaganza,
of fun, frolic, amusement and merry-making, takes place in the
month of February. The Goa Carnival festival
is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Though
essentially a Christian festival, all people of Goa, irrespective
of their faith and religion take part in this festival. The word
Carnival has been derived from the Latin word "Carnavale"
which means to throw away meat. The main highlight of Goan carnival
is to have fun by indulging in singing, dancing, feasting, etc.
before the 40 day abstinence period of Lent before Easter.
The history of the Goan carnival goes back to
almost 500 years. It was essentially introduced in Goa
by the Portuguese. The trend of celebrating the Carnival with
hedonistic pleasures dates back to ancient Rome and Greece. It
came to be known to the Portuguese and Spanish people with time
and when the Portuguese established their colony in Goa,
they introduced the concept there. Since then, the carnival is
regular feature every year and a time when people all over Goa
take part in it with pleasure.
Just before Easter Sunday, all Goans
celebrate the carnival as a feasting and merry making time. The
carnival is absolutely colorful and lively and the whole of Goa
comes alive with this festival. The entire state is decorated
with streamers and colorful ribbons and papers. Throughout the
state, many fun parades are organized and people belonging to
different communities and areas prepare their tableaus with different
representations and themes.
On the opening day of the carnival, King Momo
presides over the festival and "orders" his subjects
to party and indulge in merry making. The mornings are dominated
with singing, feasting and organizing street plays while the evenings
are usually full of dancing, balls, etc. on the wide open streets.
With the increase in the number of tourists to Goa,
the carnival is gaining more and more popularity and is visited
by a number of tourists. In a nutshell, Goa Carnival is festival
that is dominated by enjoyment and merry making where people come
together and spread cheer and happiness.