Goa Carnival: A Festival of Feast and Music


We all are aware that Goa is popular for its beautiful beaches and most tourists go there to enjoy the natural beauty of Goa. But if you have plans to visit the place during February, then don’t forget to be a part of the Goa carnival celebration that takes place during this time. The state is famous among national and international travelers for being a pleasure ground and during the carnival there are elaborate celebrations for three days and nights when the streets come alive with graceful dances, lights and non-stop festivity.

The background of Carnival festival in Goa:

This popular festival was started by the Portuguese when they ruled the state and it was approximately 500 years ago. Since the eighteenth century the festival has been celebrated and it is based on the Christian tradition of Mardi Gras and the carnival celebrates the cuisine and culture of Goa on a very grand scale every year. But it was not only the Portuguese who had these exuberant celebrations, the culture also came from ancient Greece and Rome and spread to Spain and Portugal. The celebration has now taken a secular implication and has turned out to be one of the major tourist attractions of the state.

The festival is celebrated before Lent, which is the time when Lord Jesus Christ spent 40 days in the wilderness. It is during this time that people are not supposed to eat rich foods like meat, dairy products and indulge in any celebration. Thus, the carnival is a grand celebration before the rigorous abstinence and so it involves good food, feast, dancing and drinking.


Attractive celebrations:

The India fest in Goa starts in the evening with a colossal procession that is headed by King Momo. The preparation begins from the month of December and this three day event is the place where various colors of Goa come out in a glorious manner to charm the people. The various celebrations include singing, dancing, feasting and drinking and all the major streets of the state are decorated with lights and become lively with the strumming of guitars, vibrant colors and floats and lively processions.

This is the time for unrestrained merrymaking, fashion and processions that are flocked by bands of troubadours dressed in funny clothes. Momo, the legendary King of Chaos leads the procession of acrobats, clowns, fire-eaters, brass bands and the parade moves down the main street of Panaji. The carnival includes famous red and black dance organized by the Club National in Panaji on the final day.


Goa Fest Carnival specialty:

During this festival, various one act folk plays are performed known as Khell or Fell. Fella Gitam are sung by walking players who go about the village and are accompanied by musical instruments. The sound of drums, violins, cymbals, ghumats fill the air and such plays are popular for their sarcastic criticisms that are aimed at correcting human follies. The rustic drums acts as directors of the play and the whistle of the mestri acts like the curtain raiser to the play.

Goa Carnival festival dates of 2017:

The Carnival fest in Goa 2017 will be held at various places from 25th of February till 28th of February. The locations for this annual celebration are Margoa, Mapusa, Panjim and Vasco da Gama.

Important travel tips for attending the festival.

  • The festival is celebrated during the peak season of tourism in Goa and so most hotels, resorts and homestays are packed. So, if you have plans to be part of the festival, book your travel tickets in advance, so that you do not get stuck in the rush hour.
  • Make a plan, so that you can explore the beaches in Goa and its historical heritage while enjoying the carnival. Without proper planning, it may be difficult to have a trip in which you can visit various places.
  • Pack your best clothes to rock the carnival and don’t carry any shoes that are uncomfortable. Since there are a lot of street activities, it is good to wear shoes that will not give you a shoe bite.