Goa is well known over the world for large numbers of fairs and festivals that are conducted throughout the year. Some of these include:
Feast of Three Kings:
This is a feast that is celebrated in the Church of the Lady of the Mount. This church is located in Old Goa, and this feast is celebrated in 6th January. Apart from the Christians, the Hindus also participate in this feast in full fervor. This festival is generally celebrated in honour of the Lady of the Mount. By means of this feast due respect is given to the Lady, who is known to protect the people of Goa, and also fulfill the desires of having children.
The feast is carried up to nine days, and the celebration gets over on 6th with lots of music and dance. Three young boys are made to dress as kings and after driving to different paths and offer, they reach the chapel. This feast is also followed by a big fair in Goa and wide varieties of items are available in this fair. Locals as well as tourists shop for different items from this fair. This is the reason for which this fair attracts large numbers of people from different corners of the world.
The Heritage Festival Of Goa:
This is also a well known festival celebrated in Goa, and the festival is a combined effort the Heritage action Group of Goa and also the Department of Tourism sponsored by the government of Goa. This festival has been carried out since the last three years, and is celebrated once a year. The main aim of this festival is to preserve the rich culture and heritage of Goa and make it renowned and reputed all over the world. In fact, apart from reflecting the heritage of Goa, it is also a means through which people are encouraged to make people aware, and appreciate to respect the culture and heritage of Goa.
Various local artists perform in this festival, and it is witnessed by large numbers of tourists as well as locals from different corners of the world. In addition to that, the local artisans also display their local works in this festival. The people of Goa are also encouraged to preserve the culture of Goa, and therefore, this festival is only used as a means of encouragement and awareness. This in turn, can largely benefit the generation of the future.
St Francis Xavier’s Feast:
This feast is held during the month of December and is carried out in an effort to honour the Saint who is well renowned and respected. Therefore, the first week of December witnesses this grand feast in Goa. The feast is conducted at the Basilica of Bom Jesus which is located in Old Goa. St Francis is a Christian saint who is renowned mainly because of his service and dedication to people. This is the reason large numbers of devotees from different corners of the country attend this feast in large numbers. People from different corners of the world also come here in Goa during this time.
Like any other mortal, it is believed that after the death of the saint, even the body was not rotted, and it is preserved in a silver cascade in the Basilica. After every ten years of death, his body is displayed in public on the day of this feast. However, it was in 1994 that it was discovered that the body is no longer in a condition to be displayed, but the feast is still continued to be celebrated even today. You can also be a part of this feast and pay your honour to the saint.
It is a one day festival that is held right after Diwali in Goa. In fact, the Goans consider it to be a Diwali for them, and therefore decorate the entire place with lights. A demon is made with paper and is filled with grass, crackers and wastepaper. Following this, the demon is burnt and cremated which gives an indication to the end of evil. This is carried out in the early parts of the morning. When this is over, women of homes take bath and cook different types of fov which is generally referred to as dusted dried rice mixed with jiggery.
Apart from that, several other delicious foods are prepared in honour of this festival, and these are then served to the men folk of the house. Following this, lighted wicks are placed around the heads of the men folk. The main reason for this is that they are expected to give some items or cash in a plate kept right in front of them. A bitter gourd is broken and crushed and the juice is applied in the tongue as it is considered to be holy. Following this, sweet snacks are also taken and they are offered to God and elders.
Carnival is one of the most important festivals in Goa, and this festival definitely deserves mention. This carnival is celebrated every year in February and is marked by celebration of large numbers of events and activities. It is generally a three day festival and it is this that Goans generally await for long. It is also participated by large numbers of tourists, as well. Such a celebration is not carried out in any other part of the country. It is a major delight for the Goans and at the same time a wonderful tourist attraction, as well.
Irrespective of the fact that it is a Christian festival, currently, it is participated and celebrated by people from all castes and communities. Preparations start three days in advance and give an opportunity to the people to have nonstop enjoyment and fun. Music, merry making and dance are the major keys of this carnival. There are very few people that can resist participating in this carnival. People across all age groups simply participate in this carnival in order to be a part of the real fun and frolic.
Sea Food Festival:
As the name implies, this is a festival that takes place every year in Goa, and it is participated by large numbers of people from different parts of the world. This festival is carried out in order to mark out the importance of sea food and its delicacy in Goa. People come here and taste the rich sea food of Goa that is prepared in wide varieties of recipes. Some of the reputed chefs from reputed hotels and restaurants hold stall to offer different kinds of tasty and mouth watering sea foods that are being prepared by them.
The festival is carried out for five continuous days. It is not only the reputed chefs that prepare delicious recipes with sea food, but in addition to that even the house wives of Goa participate in this festival and cook delicious recipes. The combination of all these things together makes the festival a completely joyful affair. Thus, if you are a lover of sea food, you should definitely participate in this sea food festival, so that you can wonderfully get a taste of wide varieties of Goan foods along with that of sea foods from other countries, as well.
Monte Music Festival:
This is a recently celebrated festival in Goa and has started only few years back. It is a wonderful festival that together celebrates the blend of western classical music along with that of Indian classical form of music. This kind of musical festival is celebrated nowhere in India apart from Goa. This is the reason why this festival has certainly created a great craze among large numbers of people. Local people of Goa as well as tourists from different corners of the world participate in this music festival with great cheer and enthusiasm.
This music festival is generally organized by the combined efforts of the Fundacao Oriente, Kala Academy as well as Cidadede Goa. The venue of this event is Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount. Long stretches of performances are carried out for four days, and this in turn, provides a platform to large numbers of artists to carry out their performances and thereby display their talents in front of large numbers of audiences that greatly shows them the right cheer and spirit for their performances. Therefore, if you want, you should also not miss out the opportunity to be a part of this music festival.