Tour My India

Festivals in Goa

Here are thumbnail sketches of nineteen better-known beaches of Goa. We ll start from the south of Goa, work our way up to the capital, Panaji, then movGoa Beache northwards till we come to the boundary that Goa shares with the neighboring state of Maharashtra.

Goa abounds in festivals and fairs around temples and churches which Goa Festivalalso commenmorate early legends. It is famous for its indo-latin festivals like famous carnivals. These are the occasions when a Goan peasant manifests joy and happiness. The Roman Catholicism of the Portuguese, however, drew much of its mores from the old civilisation of the Roman Empire, even to using Latin in many of its religious ceremonies. The word, carnival can be traced to Medieval Latin: carnem levare or carnelevarium: take away or remove, meat . And if you push it even further back, it could have had its origins in the ancient Saturnalia festival of ancient Rome.Many of the old religions have such an annual emotion-releasing festival.

For the Hindus of Goa its Shigmo. This, too, was originally a spring festival like Saturnalia in honour of the New Year and also celebrating the burgeoning of life. While Carnival and Shigmo are festivals of joy and abandon Shivaratri is one of austerity and penance. It is also, in all likelihood, the most ancient of the three major festivals of Goa because it is in honour of Lord Shiva, a god who had been worshipped in India for centuries before the Indo-Iranians migrated into this land. Shivaratri, however, is essentially an introspective festival. And as befits such a solemn occasion, it starts on the fourteenth day of the waning moon of Falgun. Both Shigmo and Shivaratri are, therefore, held in the last month of the Hindu calendar: Shivaratri in the dark half of the month, Shigmo in the bright half.

Zatra-It is celebrated in all temples of special importance being at Mangueshi, Nagueshi, Ramnathi, Kavlem, Madkai, Kundai, Shiroda, Khandepar, Borim, Kapileshwari, Mulgaon, Fatorpa, Amona, Shirgao, Marshel, Mala-Panaji, Mapusa, Velinga, Karmali and Calangute.

Since Goa is a mosaic of Christianity, Hinduism & even Islam, so apart from these there are a number of festivals celebrated by the respective community, but enjoyed by everyone & making Goa a melting pot of eastern & western cultures.