Be a part of the Carnival revelry in sunny Goa
The Goa Carnival has always been a major celebration in the state. With a history that spans more than five hundred years, it was introduced by the Portuguese and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Carnival is celebrated just before the Lenten season begins which is when most Catholics practice abstinence and fasting from certain foods and indulgences. Originally celebrated in Goa’s main towns, now, the celebrations have extended to Calangute and Morjim as well.
In recent years, it has become a more commercial affair but that hasn’t stopped people from bringing out the traditions that began during Portuguese rule. We’ve mentioned some of these traditions below to help you understand just how big a deal Carnival is.
Traditionally, Carnival is opened by a decree from King Momo, a legendary figure who presides over the festivities. The role of King Momo is usually played by a large, jolly man whose message for Carnival revelers is ‘eat, drink and be merry’.
Parade of Floats
Every year, each of Goa’s main towns has a parade of floats. These are put into different categories such as family, party and commercial and are decorated according to a pre-selected theme by the Carnival’s organizing committee. These themes can be anything from Goan traditions to current affairs, the environment and many more. They then follow a pre-planned route through the city with people from all over Goa and beyond, coming to watch, cheer for and wave out to parade participants.
‘Assalto’ and other parties and dances
One of Carnival’s most popular traditions from the old days is the ‘assalto’. Similar to the concept of coloring people for Holi, when people play in the ‘assalto’, they go around to friends’ homes, throwing water on and putting color on each other. Additionally, there are parties and dances held all over the state with the most famous dance being the traditional Red and Black that happens on the last night of Carnival.
Now that we’ve given you enough of a reason to visit, come to Goa and experience Carnival for yourself. This year, all the fun starts on 2nd March and lasts till 5th March. You can have the best of both worlds and stay close to the beach as well as all the fun. Seashell Beach Suites & Villas in Candolim are just a short drive from Panjim as well as Calangute which is where it all happens. Hurry and reserve your very own beach suite or beach villa!