Festivals of Goa
In India the state of Goa has a rich cultural history having a kaleidoscope of festivals. Goa is small state in India which was ruled by Portugese and Mughals who had left there traditions in this state. There are different religions of people stays in Goa who celebrates different religious faiths with respect. Goa celebrates Hindu, Muslim and Christian festivals along with exclusive festivals of Goa which are of typical Goan culture.
The Portugal rule in Goa left a deep and ever lasting Christian influence in this state of India that celebrates the Christian festivals such as:
Good Friday ;
Every Christian in Goa celebrates Good Friday with great devotion and enthusiasm by beautifully decorating their houses and churches celebrating till Easter Sunday. All devout Christians visit the churches on Good Friday and take part in the celebrations.
Christmas is a big festival celebrated in Goa with beautifully decorated streets that looks like a little paradise.
St. Xavier’s Feast :
Every year on the 3rd December the feast of St. Xavier is celebrated in the honor of death anniversary of saint St. Xavier the propagator of Christianity who came to Goa along with the Portuguese.
Saint St. Xavier was respected by each and everyone in Goa and people followed whatever he taught. Many feasts are organized throughout Goa in the honor of this saint on this festival.
Margao Feast :
In the month of May every year the Margao Feast is celebrated in the commercial town of Margao. People from all over Goa come to Margao to celebrate this festival with joy and enthusiasm.
Feast of Three Kings :
Feast of Three Kings is a very popular event in Goa celebrated in the month of January every year during the holy Epiphany in the honor of the Three Kings of Magi who came with gifts for infant Jesus Christ. Feast of Three Kings is one of the Christian festival celebrated with much joy by the Hindus as well.
Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion in Goa where Hindu festivals in are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in this state.
The festival of colors Holi is also celebrated in the state of Goa along with other states in India with great joy. People of different of age, caste and religion celebrate this festival by smearing colored powder on each other.
Ganesha Chaturthi :
One of Hindu festivals in Goa is Ganesha Chaturthi which is celebrated with great dedication which falls in the month of August with the influence of the nearby state of Maharashtra. Ganesha Chaturthi is the most popular festival in Goa.
Another major Hindu festival in Goa is Dussera celebrated by burning huge effigies of demon king Ravana and his two brothers all over the stat. Dusshera festival is celebrated for the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
The festival of lights Diwali is celebrated in Goa with great enthusiasm and dedication. Hindu people in Goa decorates their homes with flowers and lit small earthen lamps in front of their house in the evening and burst firecrackers.
Though there are no many Muslim festivals, in Goa the main Muslim festivals are celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm.
Id-ul-Fitr is the major festival of Muslims celebrated with much dedication by all Muslim communities. It is an important festival for the Muslims as it marks the end of the Ramzan month.
Id-ul-Zuha is celebrated by the Muslims to honor the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham’s son in Goa and all over India.
Other Goa Festivals
Bonderam Festival :
The Bonderam festival of Goa is celebrated on the Divar Island located at Panaji. The Bonderam festival has a unique history behind its celebration by the villagers following the rules that were adopted for settling disputes regarding the land issues.
Shigmo Festival :
Shigmo festival is one of the most celebrated festival in Goa in a grand manner every year in the month of March. This Shigmo festival dates vary according to the Hindu calendar that is based on lunar cycles. The festival lasts for almost a fortnight with great joy and dedication by the people of Goa. The Shigmo festival is known as Shigmotsav in Goa. Shigmo festival is celebrated by organizing large fairs and parades in Goa. They dress up as colorful characters and take part in the processions
Goa Carnival :
The Goa carnival is an ancient three-day festival celebrated from the 18th century as it was introduced by the Portuguese who ruled the Goa state. The Goa Carnival is the most eagerly awaited event that falls in the month of February by the people of Goa which is celebrated with full of colour, music, dance, feast, drinking and merrymaking, the Goa Carnival shows the shiny edge of Goan culture and traditions.