Viva Goa! Viva Carnival 2024 Kicks Off at Panjim on 10 February and continues till 13 February at, Margao Mapusa & Vasco
Mangaluru: The high spirits of Goa will shoot up again during the Four-day Goa Carnival celebrations, starting from 10 February and ending on 13 February. Introduced by the Portuguese settlers who ruled Goa for about 500 years and celebrated originally by the Catholics, this carnival is one-of-its-kind in India and has dissolved all communal barriers. The four days of fun and frolic preceding Lent (February) will see all Goa whirling to the mad beat of the music, drink, and dance. King Momo and his consort preside over the festivities, who are chosen from among the participants. The carnival will be celebrated in 4 major places: Panjim (10 Feb), Margao (11 Feb), Mapusa (12 Feb) and Vasco (13 Feb).
It should be noted that the Carnival de Goa’s celebrations start before the month of Lent, which involves fasting or abstinence from meat. Lent ends at Easter and is significant for Catholics. However, the carnival celebration reverberates with echoes of pagan culture dating back to Roman Saturnalia and the feasts of Apollo in Greece. The carnival has taken on many secular implications in most places that celebrate the festival. For instance, the Goa Carnival has turned out to be a major tourist attraction drawing thousands of tourists from all over the country.
A lively and rousing carnival, you will have a blast during the colorful processions in Goa. Although this is a Catholic celebration, the carnival has gotten mixed with local Goan culture and several Hindu traditions over the years. Who is King Momo? A person from Goa is selected to play King Momo. He becomes the official King of Carnival and leads the processions on a grand level, surrounded by dancers, acrobats, clowns, and musicians. He declares that the decree of the Goa Carnival is “Kha, Piye, Aani Maza Kar”, meaning to eat, drink, and be merry. Afterward, the entire Goa erupts into joy and excitement.
As the sun sets, the party doesn’t stop, keeping the visitors and locals engaged with the grand masquerade balls. Masked revelers take over the streets and give themselves to hedonistic activities of excessive drinking and consumption of food. The last day is said to be the most spectacular. It is the final chance to celebrate before Lent begins. And during this, you can witness the famous Red and Black Dance happening in Panjim.
This carnival is also about celebrating, having fun, drinking, and of course, gorging on delicious food. So, if you want to try Indian food, it is the best time to relish mouth-watering fish and meat dishes, at all the hotels and restaurants. The plays during Goa Carnival are full of mockery and sarcasm, offering a great time to visitors. Another interesting tradition of Goa is Assoltes, which are the performers in these amusing plays. They visit the homes of their friends in fun makeup and costumes and play pranks on them. Once the friend figures out that they are being pranked, they need to entertain the performers with food and drinks.
The dolkas, kind of a rustic drum, act as the mainspring or director of the play, punctuating the story, whereas the whistle of the mestri (producer-like) serves as the curtain-raiser to the play. Certain hotels in Goa also arrange special extravaganzas for their guests during the carnival. Hotels and tickets need to be booked in advance as a mad rush of tourists makes accommodation scarce and expensive. If you want to be a part of these festivities, go through our Goa tour packages to plan a memorable vacation during the Goa Carnival Festival.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean over the phone “We want to bring back the glory of Candolim and do a four-day carnival festival at Candolim we have dedicated one hour of local talent every day this year the carnival festival will end with Italian singer Whigfield singing some of her famous songs” I The main aim of our carnival is to bring back the young talent on the stage and we are going to take entries of young boys and girls namely in the age group of 5 and above who have a talent and want to showcase it we want it to be a success and this is the first time that the carnival festival will be organised at the Aguada helipad. We request everyone to come and see the festival and also the ocean. Let us celebrate carnival at Aguada and they will bring their kids to showcase their talent and the famous singer Wigfield from Italy will showcase singing for this event”.