India is hub of religious festivals and celebration. Each of which has a unique vibe and emotion attached to it. Catholic carnivals are full of joy, color, music and happiness. After hearing the word ‘Carnival’ the first thing we imagine is the world-famous Rio Carnival. To celebrate the same occasion of Mardi Grass, the beach city of India, Goa witnesses the largest Carnival in the country. It is celebrated after the Christian feasts of Epiphany and before the Lenten sacrifice begins. For India, It is one of a kind experience exclusively celebrated in Goa and nowhere else. Get here complete Information about Goa Carnival 2021 :
History of Goa Carnival
The Roman Catholic seeds were sown in Goa when it was conquered by Portuguese in the early 16th century. The Christian traditions and festivals became a part of its culture around 500 years ago but were not significantly recorded. In 1965, a Goan musician revived the Carnival and directed it towards the Rio Carnival. It grew every year and accumulated people’s heart with its zeal and attracted tourists from around the world.
Goa Carnival is an annual cultural festival that signifies the beginning of the 40 days fasting in Christian tradition also known as ‘Lenten sacrifices’. The Lent season is a representation of the 40 days that Jesus spent while preparing for his ministry, living in a desert without any comforts. The sacrifices made during this season are a way of thanking Jesus. Roman Catholics either stop consuming meat, alcohol, and desserts or contribute towards a moral cause. The Carnival links a number of important festivals together and adds more meaning to them. It is marked by excitement, exuberance, and enjoyment to welcome the lent season with open arms.
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When is the Goa Carnival Celebrated?
The Goa Carnival is celebrated for four consecutive days prior the Lent season. It starts on Saturday after the “Three Kings Day” and ends on the following Tuesday also called ‘Fat Tuesday or ‘Shrove Tuesday’. ‘Fat Tuesday’ is the last day to eat fatty and rich food after which the fasting starts. The next day when the abstinence starts is called the “Ash Wednesday”. Therefore, the Goa Carnival is celebrated as a part of series of events. In 2021, the Goa Carnival will be celebrated from 13th February (Saturday) to 16th February (Tuesday).
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How is Goa Carnival Celebrated?
The preparation for the grand event starts from December and the anticipation grows immensely over the weeks. The vivid and vibrant decoration on the streets is the heart of the Carnival. The festival is a fantastic mix of Goan culture and Portuguese sophistication. Just like the Rio Carnival, a King of the Carnival is chosen to announce the unfolding of the festivities promoting the motto of “feasting and living life to its fullest”. The King, also known as King Momo, leads the major Carnival parade riding on a spectacular float surrounded by dancers, musicians, and other performers clad in vibrant and attractive costumes.
The Carnival Parades are organized in four cities around Goa including Panaji, Vasco, Margao, and Mapusa. The main streets echo the performances of dancers, brass bands, fire breathers, clowns, and acrobats. The elegantly decorated floats are a unique characteristic feature of Goa Carnival. They are designed and decorated as per various themes representing aspects of Goan culture and traditions or political and social issues in the current scenario.
Another eye catching spectacle is the horse driven carriages that draws the viewers to walk along and be a part of the fantastic parade. The diverse shows and performances along with the vibrant and joyful hustle remain at the core of the Goa Carnival. The highlight of the final day of the Carnival on Ash Wednesday is the red and black dance. Men and women are dressed in red and black costumes and perform along with a band as a part of the final parade.
Tourist Attractions and Activities in Goa Carnival
Goa Carnival is a very popular festival among tourists from India as well as other countries. The parade itself works like a magnet for tourists looking for a great time. Tourists can enjoy the carnival as a procession or be an integral part of it. Attending the carnival is like subscribing for a fun and exhilarating experience while getting to learn the Goan traditions and the Portuguese effect on them. Traveling to Goa in the month of February is like a lovely surprise you give to yourself.
The 131 km of coastline is endowed with breath-taking sceneries of beaches open for tourists to relax. While having a blast in the carnival you can spend some leisure time at the sands of Anjuna, Baga, Calangute and many more. Apart from landscapes at the beaches and exhibition of talents in the carnival you can have the best Indian delicacies to satisfy your taste buds. Goa has a knack to fulfill all your expectations with the best offerings. The restaurants are ready with mouth-watering dishes to welcome the participants in the Goa Carnival.
Important Tips and Entry Fee of Goa Carnival
The Goa Carnival is a safe space to have a wonderful experience of a significant Catholic festival. The streets are under surveillance and secured by a huge police force. There are metal detectors, CCTVs, drones and other measures to ensure safety of people. It is an immensely celebrated festival and attracts a lot of attention so getting the best hotels to stay and enjoying the Carnival to its fullest is only possible with advanced online booking. The Goa Carnival does not charge any fee to the tourists it is a procession of people to celebrate and rejoice. Book your stay now with Special Holidays Travel to have wonderful memories.
How to Reach Goa Carnival?
Goa is a coastal state of India located in western India which is well-connected to the other parts of the country as a highly popular tourist destination. You can reach the Carnival through- Roadways, Railways, by Air, or Sea.
You can travel by car or take a bus; the interstate bus service in India is quite good for last moment journeys.
Goa has multiple railway station- Vasco Da Gama, Karmali, and Thivim which are connected to major metropolitan cities. The sea route is a great choice if you are traveling from Mumbai, the cruise will take you to Panaji and you are all set to attend the Carnival.
And the last and most convenient way, you can book a direct flight from various states to the Dabolim airport in Vasco Da Gama. Select your tour and book the tickets now to reach the Carnival on time.
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