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
FEAST OF THE THREE KINGS
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
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF CANDELARIA
Popular Christian festival held on 2nd February
POP, BEAT & JAZZ MUSIC
Held over two days in February at the Kala
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
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
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 gathering.
FEAST OF JESUS OF NAZARETH
Held in Sindao on the first Sunday after
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MIRACLES
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
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 BAPTIST
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 &
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
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 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
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 worshippers.
Hindu festival dedicated to those holiest
animals the cow.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE
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
KONKANI DRAMA FESTIVAL
Held at Kala Academy during November and
Held at Kala academy during November
FEAST OF ST.FRANCIS XAVIER
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 IMMACULATE
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.
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