Goa Carnival 2023
February is the month of love and happiness and the Goa carnival is one such occasion of fun and frolic. Goa famous as the “Queen of beaches” is a place with beautiful beaches, water sports, adventure activities, and long night parties. It is one of the favorite tourist spots in India.
Not only during Christmas and New Year you can see the majority of tourists during Goa Carnival too. It is one of the few carnivals held in Asia and the only carnival in India. It is a fun frenzy carnival that showcases Goan culture with a hint of its Portuguese heritage.
This carnival is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state. Tourist comes here to celebrate Valentine’s Week and also to participate in this carnival. It is a four-day carnival held in February or March each year, where you can see a blend of food, music, and dance. The festival is opened by ‘King Momo’ who leads the float parade through the streets of Panaji city amid huge crowds.
Goa Carnival is from 18th February to 21st February 2023.
Goa Carnival is a pre-Lenten Carnival which is a carnival of merrymaking and festivity that takes place in Roman Catholic countries in the last days and hours before the Lenten season. But India also celebrates this carnival and is unique to Goa.
Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for 500 years, and the carnival started during those time as a Catholic celebration and is still popular today. Goa offers the subcontinent’s only carnival due to the strong influence of the Portuguese, who ruled over the state. This tradition is carried out beautifully by Goans which is a beautiful harmonization of the East and West.
Suggested Read: Culture and Tradition of Goa
Goa Carnival Celebrations
The preparation for the festival begins early in the month of December when the streets are decorated with lights. People decorate their homes, the marketplace with colorful decorations. The most amazing thing about Goa is that the festive celebration that begins in December does not stop with the arrival of New Year but continues till the Goa Carnival. Since December apart from rehearsing, the performers would occasionally take the liberty of visiting one of their friend’s houses with their costumes and makeup.
Goa Carnival is a festival of feasting and merrymaking with various tourist activities. It is a carnival of fun and frolic where you can see a blend of food, music, and dance. Colorful decorative floats are a major symbol of the carnival. The floats are made of various themes and decorated accordingly. The theme can be traditions, current affairs, or ecology. Floats can be used to denote various things such as glories of the state, some events, social taboo, etc.
Many reputed brands are today sponsoring contests for the Best Looking Floats. The float tour is managed by the Government of Goa. The float tour is led by King momo who is a person chosen to act as king “Raja Momo” during the carnival. Raja Momo travels on a specially decorated float with complete arrangements for eating, drinking, and hanging out. The float tour begins with a grand parade, featuring dancers, bands, acrobats, and different forms.
Traditionally, King Momo ordered the people of the coastal state to eat and drink and be happy. According to Konkani message, it is said: “Kha, piye aani majja kar” (English: “Eat, drink and make merry”). The festival is being celebrated in major cities of Goa namely Panaji, Mapusa, Madgaon, and Vasco de Gama. Each hosting the parade on a separate night. Other areas like Calangute and Candolim also have smaller festivals held during this time.
Suggested Read: Festivals Celebrated In The Month Of February
Goa tourism held various events and cultural competitions for dancing, singing, acting, etc. Their performance is watched and rated by reputed judges and prizes are distributed on the last day of Carnival. A famous black and red dance are organized at the conclusion of Carnival which is truly worth watching.
Foreign tourists, as well as domestic tourists, participated while merrymaking; wore colorful clothes, wigs, and masks to remember the state’s Portuguese legacy once ruled by the Iberians. You can find a lively procession of floats, marching bands, and performance groups with crazy costumes and loud music.
A perfect time to experience Goan life when the mirthful exuberance of fun and music-loving people of Goa reaches its climax during the four day Goa Carnival celebrations.
Suggested Read: India in the Month of February