Goa, a travel hotspot of the world, is probably on your list of must-see places. Like India, this state is home to people of diverse religions, cultures, and traditions. Sure enough, Goans celebrate many of the key festivals in India and even have a few unique ones of their own, which they proudly celebrate with exuberance.
Goa has a sizeable Catholic population and a strong hint of Portuguese culture that dates back to the 1500s, when the Portuguese settled in Goa. Naturally, Christmas is a very popular festival in Goa and is celebrated with much excitement and revelry.
Around the time of this festival, the picturesque town of Goa gets infused with the colors of Christmas - white, red, and green, and the streets are filled with the lilting sounds of carols. Christmas sets off a celebration of feasting, drinking, and entertainment, which gets carried well into the New Year.
Planning to visit this popular destination toward the end of the year? Ensure that you make reservations for travel and accommodation well in advance, as Goa’s popularity as a travel destination doubles when the holiday season is approaching.
During this three-day festival, Goans indulge in one last celebration of food and drink before they enter the strict abstinence of the 40-day period of Lent. The carnival takes place during the month of February and is a satisfying mix of food, drink, dance, and music. Watch the multicultural parades and street plays at close quarters, and join in the wild partying going on in the streets every evening for three days.
Start planning your trip for the Goan Carnival, so that you too can join the fun next March.
This three-day electronic dance music festival started in 2007 brings together some of the most amazing artists from the world music scene. It is organized on the Candolim Beach in North Goa. Multiple stages are set up and more than one performance is held simultaneously.
This three day musical extravaganza comes with the enticing additions of food and shopping. TheSunburn Festival is a must-visit for lovers of electronic and trance music.
One of the smaller festivals of Goa, Bonderam is nonetheless celebrated with equal cheer and liveliness as all the major festivals and carnivals. It is celebrated on Divar Island, about 1 km from the city of Panjim, on the 4th Saturday of August every year.
The festival itself is a mock fight conducted between two rival groups, to commemorate the property disputes and the subsequent bloody duels that took place during the Portuguese era. People of both groups throw berries and fotashes (weapons made out of bamboo stems) at their rivals, with the intention of bringing down their flag and establishing mock glory.
Shigmo is a major festival of the Goan Hindu community. It is celebrated in spring, usually in the month of March. Soak in the colorful atmosphere marked by a vivid assortment of parades, floats depicting religious and mythological elements, street dancers, and traditional folk. This festival is very similar to the Indian festival of Holi, but the setting adds a distinct Goan feel to it.
Goa celebrates its festivals with infectious enthusiasm. Jump right into the spirit of things for an exciting and entertaining time, but first remember to arrange suitable homestay accommodation well in advance.