If you are a fun loving person who loves to shake a leg and let lose once in a while, then the highly energetic and vibrant Goa carnival is the ultimate event you need to look forward to.
Origin of the carnival
The main objective behind the carnival is to stock up on fun before the holy period of Lent, when the Christian community fasts for 40 days and nights. In this period, they practice prayer, penance, and self-denial to remember the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, and also to remember the holy week, in memory of death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Europe has had the tradition of riotous partying right from the days of the Roman and Greek empires way before Christianity, and this carried on over the ages to the days of the Spanish and Portuguese empires. When Goa was colonized by the Portuguese, they introduced the carnival there as well. During the Portugal days, the Europeans used to dress up and party and the locals soon enthusiastically embraced the concept. The Portuguese have now gone, but the fun of the carnival still remains.
5 days of mind-numbing fun!
In spite of the Portugal historical influences, the Goa carnival today is a complete Goan affair, with the whole of Goa being decked up with colorful streamers and decorations for the event. This year, the carnival is scheduled to take place on February 25th and go on till the 28th, but the preparations have started from December itself. The carnival is so impressive that it has several pre-carnival events which have already been kick-started from the 8th of February with a food and cultural festival and cooking competition, but the actual magnum opus will be on the 25th with the crowning of the legendary King Momo. King Momo is referred to as the “King of Chaos” who will rule Goa during the entire period of the festival. The festival is inaugurated with a smashing opening ceremony during which the King is crowned. He then leads a parade through the streets of Panjim, Margoa, Vasco and Mapusa – which will comprise of colorful floats and his band of funsters. This band typically features colorful floats, beautiful dancers, crazy acrobats, amazing fire eaters, mad jesters, brass bands and of course a huge amount of revellers and party people. It is a breathtaking parade which should definitely not be missed.
King Momo commands his people to ‘eat, drink and be merry’ and by default, that’s what they will do! With hordes of food stalls serving all kinds of tasty food and, of course, more beer than you can possibly imagine, the carnival is all about having fun and eating to your heart’s content. While you are there, don’t forget to try out some of the famous shacks. Goan cuisine is celebrated to the next level with schools of fish and flocks of fowl – which are all lip-smacking and finger-licking delicious!
The parade and festivities will start by 3 p.m. and last for about 3 hours, and the celebrations will end on the last day with the famous red and black ball, which will be held at the Club National in Panaji.
After this the mourning period of Lent begins, and the scorching summer will step in. But for now it is time to indulge and let your hair down at the crazy and colorful Goa Carnival. The entire Goa will be partying non-stop for 5 days and we are definitely going to be a part of it!