Festivals in Goa

The grand celebration of this festival takes place at the Divar Island. The Portugal word ‘Bonderam’ refers to flag and hence flags have a significance in this festival. History states that during the Portuguese rule in Goa there were frequent wars between two sections of the Divar village, namely Sao Mathias and Piedade over property issues.The Portuguese put an end to these wars by demarcation with flags. In this memory, today the Goans play mock fights and a massive parade takes place accompanied by loud music.

Carnival is one of the most coveted festivals in Goa. This three-day festival is full of feasting-drinking-merrymaking With the streets coming to life with the float parades, graceful dances, the strumming of guitars, lively processions.

Christmas, one of the famous festivals all over the world, is the best time of the year to visit Goa.. But when in Goa Christmas is all about treating yourself with a yummy Christmas dinner, watching the fireworks at the beach, burning the old man’s effigy and dancing to the tunes of Asia’s biggest music festival - The Sunburn Music Fest.

Dassera, famously known as ‘Dasro’ in Konkani, signifies the victory of good over evil. It is held on the culminating day of Navratri when the state organises religious rituals and palanquin processions of Goddess Durga followed by the immersion of Her idols.

Deepawali, like Dusshera, marks the triumph of good over evil by the destruction of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. On this day, competitions are held to see who can make the biggest and scariest effigy of the demon which are paraded through the streets and burnt at dawn amidst a lot of fireworks.The local villagers, at night, decorates the place with millions of flickering candles and an explosion of fireworks and firecrackers hence this festival is known as ‘Festival of Lights’.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular estivals in India.. Spectacular arrangements are made full of lighting and decoration and Lord Ganesh is fervently worshiped for 10 days. Here, it is also known as Chavath in Konkani and Parab or Parva. Modaks are the tradional sweet that is widely made and served to the Elephant God

Id-Ul-Fitr is one of the important festivals for Muslims in India that mark the end of Ramadan – the 9th month of Islamic Calendar, when Muslims fast, to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Mohammad. The Muslim colonies are beautifully decorated with streamers and lavish feasts are prepared in Muslim households.

Novidade Festival welcomes the harvesting season in Goa. On this day, local villagers offer their first rice crop to the church of Goa. It is after this ritual the farmers there start the further harvesting of their respective fields. The Goans celebrate this festival by preparing sumptuous feasts, dancing and singing, and blowing fireworks.

This festival is celebrated on the occasion of Sao Joao Festival, highlights the importance of Jackfruit. The state celebrates this fest by preparing different types of dishes made of Jackfruit. It is the Socorro Socio Art and Cultural Festival Association who organises an event which features different types of raw and ripe jackfruits and Squashes, Jacada, Papads, and Sattam.

The feast of St John the Baptist., pompously celebrated with a lot of fanfare and fervour, It is also called a Festival of Fertility as young to-be mothers make offerings to God for a child.

Shigmotsav aka Shigmo Festival is the state’s biggest spring festival. Processions are carried out in a traditional style where artists play Horse dance, toss gulal and rejoice with spectacular float parades, beating drums followed by traditional folk dances like the Talgadi, Lamp dance, Hanpet, Gopha, Rommatamel and Fugdi.

Every year on the 3rd of December - the day he was buried, a feast is held. Many ceremonies are hosted on this day to honor his death. The feast is celebrated by Goans throughout the state, welcoming over 2 lakhs devouts from across the country as well as overseas hence huge crowds plunges to the Basilica to pay respect to the saint’s remains there.

Three Kings Festival aka Epiphany is celebrated on 6th Jan every year. The celebration begins 12 days after Christmas to commemorate the visit of the three wise men to bless the infant Jesus. It takes place in the village of Verem in North Goa and those of Chandor and Cansaulim in South Goa. The festival continues for 10 days and the local villagers keep the spirit of Goa high by continuous dance, music, and parties.

This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Shantadurga. The procession includes parading of the image of Shanta Durga in beautifully decorated silver palanquin led by twelve colourful umbrellas, held by dancing youngsters who toss and get smeared with the red powder (Gulal). It is followed by a puja performed in the temple of Shree Shantadurga at Fatorpa.