Asia’s one of the most famous carnival and also the only carnival celebrated in India- the Goa Carnival. Although it is smaller than the Rio Carnival it is the largest carnival in India. Goa Carnival is a four-day celebration usually celebrated in February and March. It is a colorful and vibrant celebration with amazing parades and colorful costumes. This year Goa carnival will begin to February 22 till February 25, 2020.
Goa Carnival is a pre-Lenten Carnival that marks four days celebration, merrymaking and also mayhem which is before Lent. This carnival is a unique festival that shows extremely wonderful Goan culture mixed with the hint’s Portuguese heritage, celebrations are marked with full of energy, colors, with dance and music performances. Goa Carnival is a National event that draws a huge tourist attraction from all over India and around the world.
It is one of the most expected events in Goa where all the preparations for the carnival celebrations which get started in December. The streets of Goa are beautifully decorated with the most attractive lights and luxurious balls. People can feel the excitement a couple of weeks before the carnival. Goa is a happening place in India where people can enjoy their life and also one of the only places in India where the casino games are legal with many partying pubs.
History of Goa Carnival
The Goa Carnival is originated back from the Catholic tradition of Mardi Gras in which the celebrations include partying, food, drink before the 40 days of fasting and sacrifice which occurs during Lent. The Portuguese brought this carnival to India, at the time when they ruled here and approx. 500 hundred years ago the first-ever carnival was organized in the state. In the starting carnival, it is more about Portuguese culture and traditions but as time passes now it is more about the Goan Culture.
When the Portuguese rule was to end, the festival was restored by Timoteo Fernandes during 1965, he was a Goan musician who modeled it after the fame of Rio Carnival. Today, the Carnival is celebrated with Urban Parade which includes floats from local villages and some cultural groups and it is still organized in a very traditional manner. According to the Government of Goa’s Department and Tourism, this is Goa’s most famous festival which has been celebrated since the 18th century.
During the Carnival of Goa, it is taken by King Momo who became the first official King of the carnival with leading the parade. The celebrations started with a Konkani message “Kha, Piye Anni Majja Kar” in English (“Eat, Drink, and make merry) traditionally proclaimed by the King Momo.
Celebrations of Goa Carnival
The Goa Carnival is a lively exhilarating carnival famous for its colorful processions with vibrant colors and energy. Though it is a catholic celebration the Carnival is now mixed with local Goan culture and some Hindu Traditions.
Goa Carnival starts on the Fat Saturday evening with a grand procession heading by the Carnival King Momo with dancers, bands, clowns, acrobats, and other entertainers. The Parade goes through the main street of Panaji- the capital of Goa, with the three more cities Margo, Vasco, and Mapusa. The parades of Goa carnival are one of the most spectacular parades that feature fire-breathers, dancers and musicians.
The end of the carnival is the red and black dance where the men and women dressed up in red and black color garments (red color for upper garments and black for lower) and dance in the beats of bands in procession. The Ash Wednesday is the last day of Carnival as the beginning of Lent month.