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Fairs & Festivals in GOA

Goa Carnival :

Signifying everything pagan in rituals, color forms and the abandon, Carnival, in Goa is one very vibrant festival that heralds the time of lent for the Goan Christian community. Celebrated as a three day period of merrymaking and revelry where the Monarch of the festival, King Momo and his consort the queen are chosen, and they open the festivities, Carnival is one of the most awaited summer fiestas.

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Adapted from the Portuguese during their tenure in Goa, Carnival highlights grand parades of floats and decorated traditional and cultural troupes performing on the roads as part of the programs organized and feted by the Government and the tourism industry. The huge floats are artistic creations that enhance the community's desire to highlight the different aspects of social and cultural mores that exist in today's society. The dancers are a vibrant addition to the parades that line the streets in Goa where thousands flock to witness the exotica, in the major townships. The rural community has its own charming and traditional aspect with traveling troupes performing in different areas and the colourful costumes and merry inebriation that is a part of the spirit of Fun.



January 6th :Feast of Three Kings at Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor.

February 2nd : Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria at Pomburpa February.

March : Carnival Monday after 5th sunday in Lent, Procession of All Saints of the third Franciscan Order (only other besides Rome at Old Goa - Velha. 1st Sunday after Easter - Feast of Jesus of Nazareth at Siridao 16 days after Easter - Feast of Our Lady of Miracles at Mapusa

August 24th : Festival of Novidades - offerings of first sheaves of rice crop to the Head of State.

October :1st fortnight - Fama de Menino Jesus at Colva

November : 3rd Wednesday of the month - Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary at Navelim.

December : 3rd - Feast of St.Francis Xavier, Patron Saint of Goans at Old Goa

December 8th : Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Panaji and Margao.

December 25th : Christmas all over Goa.



Hindu festivals are harder to date because of the different calendar they include :

January : Festival of Shantadurga Prasann at the small village of Fatorpa, south of Margao. There is a night time procession of chariots bearing the goddess and as many as 100,000 people flock to the festival. The Shri Bodgeshwar zatra or temple festival takes place just south of Mapusa.

February : The three day zatra of Shri Mangesh takes place in the lavish temple of that name in the Ponda district. In the old Fontainhas district of Panaji the Maruti zatra draws huge and colourful crowds. Maruti is another name for Hanuman.

March : In Goa the festival of Holi is called Shigmo. There's a parade in Panaji and numerous temple festivals around Goa. In the Procession of Umbrellas at Cuncolim, Shantadurga is carried in procession over the hills to the original temple site wrecked by the Portuguese in 1580. The route taken is the same one by which the image was spirited away to safety outside the Portuguese borders. It's a colourful and dramatic event.

Shigmotsav : All over Goa. Special celebrations at Panaji, Mapusa,Vasco-da-Gama and Margao.

Shigmo [Holi] 19th-26th March :

Generally known as Holi, the month of Phalgun signifies the onset of what in Goa is known as Shigmo. Celebrated mostly by the masses in the close religious association of religious rites, the festival of Shigmo is accompanied by the fanfare of drum beats and the epic enactions of Mythology. Colour in vivid vibrancy hues the festivities that bedeck every area that is celebrating Shigmo.

"Gulal" and "Neel" are abundantly used to colour the very atmosphere in celebration of what is heralding the onset of the most colourful season, Spring.

Today, the Shigmotsav has highlighted its festivities with the performance of troupes in the form of parades and cultural dances. The streets in the townships, at dusk resound with the music of the Dholl, the drums and conches as huge effigies of wondrous colour and light effects parade their way to prize winning combinations.

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A spring festival celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Phalgun in March. Zatra In all temples of special importance being at Mangueshi, Nagueshi, Ramnathi, Kavlem, Madkai, Kundai, Shiroda, Khandepar, Borim, Kapileshwari,Mulgaon,Fatorpa, Amona,Shirgao, Marshel, Mala-Panaji, Mapusa, Velinga, Karmali and Calangute. Mahashivrati Harvalem, Ramnathi, Kavlem, Mangueshi, Nagueshi, Shiroda, Brahmapuri, Shirgao, Kasarpal, Fatorpa and Panaji. Rangapanchami: (Gulal), Kasarpal and Zambaulim. Ramnavami: Partagal - Canacona Chaitra - Purnima Borim, Sanquelim, Nagueshi, Chandranath, Cudnem and Mashem - Canacona. Gokulashtami: Narve - Bicholim Ganesh Chaturthi: All over Goa Deepawali: All over Goa. Navratra Utsav At all Hindu Temples. Special celebrations at Shantadurga, Nagueshi, Mahalakshimi and Ramnath temples at Ponda and Kalika Devi Temple at Kasarpal. Dasrotsav: All over Goa. Kojagiri Purnima: Mardol - Ponda. Dattajayanti: Sanquelim, Quepem & Dattawadi in Mapusa.

Muslim Festivals :

Urs of Shah Abdullah at Ponda - 17th Zilhaj (February)


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