Eat, Drink & be Merry! Viva Carnival Goa 2019 Kicks Off in Panjim with Tradition & Culture- Team Mangalorean reporting from Panjim-Goa
Panaji -Goa: The carnival festivities kicked off in Goa on Saturday, 2 March 2019 at 4 pm, with lakhs of tourists witnessing one of the biggest festivals of Goa. The Carnival showed colourfully-decorated float parade passing through the state capital on Saturday evening. Speaking to reporters after flagging off the parade, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar gave the celebrations a dash of patriotic flavour: “Viva Carnival! King Momo has given message — eat, drink, be merry. Today, the country is also moving ahead. Our Brave-hearts have returned after demolishing Pakistan,” he said. Drink Cashew Feni, but Don’t Indulge in Drugs”.
Yes, It’s Carnival time again! The time to sway to the beats of the samba and enjoy four days of fun and fiesta! The festival evoked feelings of nostalgia among locals as an event that brought people to the streets, with the spirit of merriment in the air. With colours, music, and dancing, the float parade stole the show during this festive period. During the vibrant 4-day Carnival, float parades will take place in major cities in Goa – Panjim (March 2), Margao (March 3), Vasco, (March 4) and Mapusa (March 5). There will also be float parades in other towns, with Ponda and Curchorem having theirs on March 4 and Morjim and Shiroda on March 5, 2019.
This year, William Anes, 53, from Panjim, has been chosen to lead the Carnival Parades. King Momo is a mythological figure, who is symbolic when it comes to carnival celebrations and he will declare the decree of ‘Eat, Drink and Make Merry’ during his 4-day reign. The parade showcased diverse participants under various categories, displaying different themes and messages. The total prize money for the float competitions has been pegged at Rs 54.40 lakh and infrastructure costs to all centres at Rs 1.09 crore. Adding to the entertainment is a special Carnival song, which was released by Minister for Tourism, Manohar Ajgaonkar. The song has been composed/mixed and mastered by Mukesh Ghatwal, with lyrics by Roque Lazarus and Mukesh Ghatwal. Queenie Fernandes and Ghatwal have sung the song.
Carnaval 2019 was a colorful panorama of dancers and floats depicting the quintessential Goenkar life, burning issues, and larger-than-life monsters, plus much more. Artistically designed floats depicting larger-than-life traditional Goan fruits, vegetables, fish, wild animals and the Mando in all its glory were a treat for the eyes of thousands of people who had lined the streets of the parade route. A number of floats once again sent out a strong message in support of the SwachhBharath campaign and against the ills of drugs, child labour, and deforestation. Other wide range of floats highlighted social issues concerning the society, environment and wildlife, through the implementation of strict rules and regulations.
Upholding the traditional legacy there were several locals who put up floats illustrating the traditional culture, heritage and occupations of Goa. The music accompanying the floats brought the festive crowd, particularly tourists on their feet. The parade also had themes from the national level, effectively advertised by the visual media. The musical traditions of Goa were aptly depicted by the float “Goencho Mando”-it had a Goan traditional mansion forming its backdrop and Goans in their formal attire all ready to sing the “Mando” with musicians in accompaniment. Some other floats also had their own way of attracting attention. After the float parade, it was all excitement and extravaganza of music and dance, where the revelers enjoyed every bit of it till late night.
Fun and frolic virtually ruled the roost as King Momo, along with Queen Momo, leading the float parade read out the edict to ring in the celebrations before the 40 days of Lenten season, which starts on 6 March. The carnival parade witnessed a mix of tradition and creativity in the tableau’s which were presented at the parade that consisted of floats in various categories. I feel that it’s a good platform to bring awareness through these floats and give out a social message since most of the floats were quite educative which could give a message to the locals, tourists and also those in authority in various civic departments.
The traditional floats depicting Goa’s well-maintained traditions attracted the attention of the mammoth crowd. As the crowd on the road shoulders swelled, the police personnel had a tough time controlling them. The cops forcibly brought down some revelers who had climbed to the top of the trees in the city to avoid any untoward incidents. Team Mangalorean ran into a few “Mangalurgars” who were having a nice time partying with “Goenkars” at the Carnival – It’s no doubt that Mangaloreans like to party-and when there is nothing much of fun and frolic taking place here in the coastal city, Mangaloreans look for any other destination where they could enjoy to the best of life-and Goa is one such destination that party lovers of Mangaluru like to go and get into a revelry mood.
As Mangaloreans know, food and drink are huge draws in Goa – While seafood, feni and pungent Goan sausages are on almost every travel itinerary, there was much more on offer at the Food and Culture Festival, organized by Goa Tourism as a precursor to Goa Carnival 2019. The free entry meant that visitors poured in to participate in the festivities, and off course we were there, because free is always better, fun and merrier. From seafood grills to pork sorpotel from kebabs to biriyani, from iced drinks to sinful desserts, everything was on sale at the food festival. Aromas competed in the cool evening air and the dressed-up stalls offered a feast for the senses. While carnivores gorged for joy, a few mollified vegetarians could be seen secretly tucking into something fleshy on this night of sin.
Viva Carnival 2019! Viva Goa !- where fun never stops.