In the Land of Shigmo and Bonderam – Goan Festivals

Festivals are an integral part of the Goan way of life. Every festival is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur in Goa and unites people from different walks of life. Throughout the year, celebrations are galore across the state from The Feast of the Three Kings, The Grape Escapade, Janmashtami, Id-Ul-Fitr, Mahavir Jayanti and Ganesh Chaturthi to Dussehra, Deepavali, The Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Christmas and New Year.

Among the various colourful feasts and festivals celebrated across Goa, the carnival is one of the most eagerly awaited events. Huge parades are organized throughout the State with live bands, dances, social acts, and vivacious floats on the streets. The carnival is held for three days with dance competitions and other fun-filled activities buzzing at night. The highlight of the parade is the legendary King Momo who flags off the event in style. The festivities conclude with the Red-and-Black themed night which is well attended by locals as well as eminent personalities from the corporate and social circles.

Welcoming Goa with songs of spring is Shigmotsav, a festival that bids goodbye to the cold Winters in Goa. Celebrated with great reverence on a full moon day, this festival brings to light various scenes of mythology through song, dance and drumbeats. Various float parades are observed across the state celebrating the arrival of spring.

The Feast of St. John or popularly known as the Sao Joao festival is well celebrated in Goa on 24th June every year. On this occasion, locals are seen wearing colourful wreaths on their head made of flowers and leaves. Processions are carried out everywhere and musicians stride along keeping the crowd alive. To add on to the festivities, young men and women from the community take a plunge in the village wells and different types of folk dances and Mandos are organised. A variety of fruits and other food items are exchanged between friends and relatives.

Bonderam is yet another festival that is well celebrated on the beautiful Island of Divar. The island is embellished with colourful boats and the day commences with processions and street plays commemorating the disputes that took place years ago over property on the island.

Apart from food and cultural festivals, Goa is also an eye-candy for actors and producers from the film fraternity both nationally and internationally. The International Film Festival of Goa (IFFI) draws movie-buffs from different parts of the globe with its screening of popular films, film bazaar, award ceremonies, street artists, food stalls and other activities organised for all age groups. The festival offers artists, directors, producers, distributors, exhibitors and film critics a unique platform to showcase their talent and brings together film-lovers from around the world.


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