EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
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
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
March / April
The birth of Rama an
incarnation of Vishnu is celebrated at the temple of Partagal
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 after
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.
May / June
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
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
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.
August / September
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.
September / October
FAMA SE MENINO JESUS
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.
October / November
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.
November / December
MARATHI DRAMA FESTIVAL
Takes place at Kala
Academy from November to December.
FOOD AND CULTURE FESTIVAL
A five day festival held on any one of
the beaches in November or December to highlight Goan cuisine
KONKANI DRAMA FESTIVAL
Held at Kala Academy during November and
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 feasting.
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.