AND FESTIVALS IN GOA
Introduction Goa has various religious
mix of people and has number of holidays and festivals.
During national holidays Banks and Post Offices may remain
closed. Christian festivals occur on set dates. Hindu religious
festivals follow the lunar calendar and therefore change
from year to year. Following are some of the national, state
and local holidays apart from local village events.
FEAST OF THE THREE
On 6th January the three villages of
Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor celebrate this festival
with reenactment by local boys of the three kings arriving
with gifts for Christ.
The Jatra is the feast of the God
to whom the temple is dedicated. Best at Shantadurga Temple
at Fatropa in Quepem, at Bogdgeshwar Temple in Mapusa
and Devki Krishna Ravalnath Temple at Marcela in Ponda.
This festival is also celebrated in other temples of importance
Republic day on 26th January marks
the anniversary of India's republic in the year 1950. In
Delhi it is celebrated in spectacular way with enormous
colorful military parade. February / March
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF
Popular Christian festival held on
2nd February at Pomburpa.
POP, BEAT & JAZZ
Held over two days in February at the
SHIGMOTSAV OR SHIGMO
Goa's version of Holi, this Hindu festival
is held to mark the end of winter. It normally takes place
on the full moon day of the month of Phalguna and is widely
celebrated by gangs of youths throwing colored water and
powder at one another. Tourist frequently become a target-it
is in good humor just to excite the tourist. This is not
a day to go our dressed in best cloths.
The original reason for the carnival
was to celebrate the arrival of Spring and it is observed
within the Catholic community as three days of partying
before the start of Lent. In Panaji the festivities center
around a procession of colorful floats which takes place
on Sabado Gordo or Fat Sunday. The event is opened by the
arrival of King Momo who makes a traditional decree ordering
his subjects to forget their worries and have a good time.
VASANT PANCHAMI JATRA
Hindu's festival, best celebrated at
Shantadurga temple in Queula at Ponda, in Mangesh temple
at Priol, in Mahalsa Temple at Mardol which are in Ponda
This festival is also celebrated in Ajoba Temple at Querim
in Pernem and in Mahalaxmi Temple at Amone in Bicholim
Hindu's festival, best at Siroda and
Ramnath temples both in Pond and at Sanguem; also good at
Harvalem, Kavlem and Mangesh Temples. This festival celebrates
the birth of Lord Shiva.
URS OF SHAH ABDULLAH
Muslim's, death anniversary of saint
Urs of Shah Abdullah. On this day of 17th February Muslims
sing lyrical Muslim devotional songs called quawwalis, often
sung through the night at Ponda
The birth of Rama an incarnation of
Vishnu is celebrated at the temple of Partagal in Canacona.
PROCESSION OF ALL SAINTS
At Goa Vellha on 5th Monday in Lent.
Thirty status of the saints are brought out from storage
and paraded around the neighboring villages. The main road
through Goa Velha generally becomes blocked with the traffic
as people from all over Goa are also drawn to the fair.
GOOD FRIDAY & EASTER
The Easter celebrations are marked
by huge church services; the congregations often overflow
into the streets or the services are held outside to accommodate
everyone. Christian families mark the event with large clean
FEAST OF JESUS OF NAZARETH
Held in Sindao on the first Sunday
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF
Held in Mapusa 16 days after Easter.
This particular festival is famous for its common celebration
by large numbers of Hindus and Christians.
From mid-April onwards successive Sundays
see Colva Beach becoming the scene for this small festival
featuring live music, dancing and entertainment.
Same as Beach Bonanza but on the Calangute
Jain festival, celebrated by the strictly
vegetarian Jain community. Marks the birth of Mahavir, the
founder of Jainism, and is a public holiday. Celebrated
grandly at Borim in Ponda.
Occurring in May this is one of the
most distinctive festivals in Goa and is specific to the
temple of Sirigao in Bicholim Taluka. Igituna Chalne literally
means fire-walking and the high point of the festival which
occurs at night when devotees of goddess Lairaya walk across
a pit of burning coal to prove their devotion.
FESTIVAL OF ST. ANTHONY
Held on 13th June The feast of St.Anthony
Portugal's national saint is celebrated in Goa. This festival
has taken on a particular local significance. If the monsoon
has not arrived by the time of the feast day a statue of
the saint is lowered into the family well for the arrival
of the rain.
FEAST OF ST.JOHN THE
Held on 20th June. St.Anthony's feast
day marks the onset of the rains, the Feast of St.John is
a thanks giving for the arrival of the monsoon. The most
obvious manifestation of the rains is the fact that the
wells start to fill up again and to mark the event young
men of the community jump into the water. Since each well
owner by tradition has to supply feni to the swimmers the
feast day is marked by increasingly high spirits.
FEAST OF SAINT PETER
& SAINT PAUL
Held on 29th June. Another celebration
of the monsoon, this time by the fishing community particularly
in Bardez taluka. The fishermen tie their boats together
to form rafts which serve as makeshift stages. After a church
service in the morning and a large feast the festival of
Sangodd is held. Tiatrs, folk dances and music are performed
before an audience who watch from the banks of the river.
GOA STATEHOOD DAY
Celebrated on 30th of May, State holiday
to celebrate Goa becoming the 25th state of Indian Union
on May 30, 1987.
On 15th August celebrates the anniversary
of India's independence from the UK in 1947. The Prime Minister
delivers an address from the ramparts of Delhi's Red Fort
FEAST OF ST. LAWRENCE
The feast day is to celebrate the end
of monsoon and the reopening of the Mandove to river traffic.
The celebration of Krishna's birthday.
In some Krishna temples the deity is symbolically placed
in a cradle.
Celebrated on the island of Divar on
the fourth Saturday of August. The festival consists of
processions and mock battles which commemorate the disputes
which took place over property on the island.
Held on 24th August. The offering of
the first sheaves of rice to the head of state.
The Hindu festival is celebrated throughout
the state and commemorates the birth of Ganesh. The festival
can last for two and a half days. Clay models of Ganesh
are taken in procession around the areas of the temples
before being immersed in water. A period of fasting is observed.
FAMA SE MENINO
The feast is held at Colva on the second
Monday of October and celebrates the 'miraculous' favor
granted by the Menino Jesus which resides within the Church
of Our Lady of Mercy in Colva.
Celebrated on 2nd of October, the birth
of Mahatma Gandhi. Prayer meetings are held at the memorial
site in Delhi. As a sign of respect it is a Dry Day and
no alcohol is served.
Hindu's festival, this is extremely
popular ten-day long festival begins on the first day of
the Hindu month of Ashvina. The festival celebrates the
triumph of good over evil and culminates in the burning
of the effigy of the demon king, Ravana. In Goa, the main
puja of this festival is performed at the place of work.
Machinery, tool, vehicles etc., are cleaned and garlanded
with flowers and worshipped.
This Hindu festival also known as the
Festival of Lights is second in importance only to Ganesh
Chaturthi and marks the victory of Good over Evil. Symbolically
lamps are lit morning and evening within the homes of the
Hindu festival dedicated to those holiest
animals the cow.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF
Celebrated on the 3rd Wednesday of
November in Navelim's Church.
MARATHI DRAMA FESTIVAL
Takes place at Kala Academy from November
FOOD AND CULTURE FESTIVAL
A five day festival held on any one
of the beaches in November or December to highlight Goan
cuisine and entertainment.
KONKANI DRAMA FESTIVAL
Held at Kala Academy during November
Held at Kala academy during November
FEAST OF ST.FRANCIS
The feast is celebrated in Old Goa
on 3rd December with processions and services. The feast
of the patron saint of Goa is celebrated on the day he died
in 1552. Preceding the feast, nine days of Novenas are held,
attended by pilgrims from all over the world. Stalls selling
sweetmeats, toys, clothing etc., line the streets.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF
Held on or around 8th December in Panaji
and Margao accompanied by a large fair.
Christmas is celebrated as a holiday
throughout Goa and India. Goa's Catholics flock to midnight
mass services traditionally called Missa de Galo or Cock
Crow as they go on well into early hours of the morning.
Christmas Day is marked with large family gatherings and
NEW YEAR'S EVE
Jubilant celebrations on the 31st of
December, in the form of all-night street parties and beach
parties anticipate the good things the New Year will bring.
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