What is the Goa Carnival Festival?
The Goa Carnival Festival is the largest carnival in India. It is a popular festival in Goa that has been celebrated since ancient times of Portuguese in the late 18th century. Those people called it as four days of eating, dancing while having a fun-filled time.
The Goa fete denotes the celebrations before the month of Lent, which means fasting or discipline from meat. The carnival is a festival that has become a major tourist destination attracting millions of tourists over the nation and the Goa Tourism Board promotes it too.
History of Goa Carnival Festival
The carnival cum festival was first started in 1961 in Goa. Initially celebrated by King Momo, this Goa carnival was brought to India by the people of Portuguese at approximately 500 years back.
The culture & the way of life was really originated from old Rome and Greece, which spread back to Spain and Portugal in the end. Earlier it had a Portuguese flavor to it, but with time the celebrations have taken up the essence of the culture of Goa. Thus, people identify with the festivities and take part in the carnival in crazily huge numbers.
Activities at Goa Carnival Festival
Red and Black Dance
Do you love dancing? Just don’t afraid from the crowds, then dressed up in your best red and dark outfits and with your veils on the move the night away with different groups, fire eaters and various revelers that are a part of the colorful parade that Clube Nacional holds in Panjim.
Crowning of Ruler Momo and the Red and Black Ball are huge draws at the Goa carnival festival. The celebration is marked with drinking, dancing, and lots of music till late into the night, which is the start of Lent.
The Festival starts at night with a massive procession that Lord Momo leads surrounded by dancers, bands of musicians artists, groups of performers, merchants & vendors, and old men in funky outfits.
Artists, fire-eaters, trapeze artists, acrobats, clowns, brass bands, jesters, jokesters, metal groups, buffoons, metal groups, and others pursue the lord during the parade down the primary roads of Panaji, Mapusa, Margao, and Vasco.
You can appreciate the colorfully decorated floats, cheer or take an interest in various sports competitions, different exciting games, authentic Tasty cuisines of Goa, especially seafood and the Goan drink Feni, which is prepared using cashews.
The Goa Fair is the place most youths in Goa admits their love & affection for one another. Generally, bistros and different cafeterias set up their best fish and meat dishes on the days of the carnival. For this Festival, instead of using eggs, fruits and flowers, people visiting Goa also play with colors these days.
Don’t miss out the Fashion shows organized, DJ Nights, short plays, etc.
Goa Carnival Festival 2020 dates
The Goa Carnival Festival will be celebrated from 22nd to 25th February 2020.
Entry to Goa Carnival
Open to the people of all ages & is free of cost though you’ll need to pay Rs.100 if you’re interested in taking part in the Red and Black Dance.
Otherwise, there is no entrance ticket to the carnival. You just need to come and take part in the celebrations. Everyone is invited with open arms to join in the four days of exhilaration and unmatched festivities.
The Specialty of Goa Carnival
The one-act folk play known as Khell or Fell is the specialty of the carnival. The play is held during the carnival in Chandor where walking-actors go about the village singing Intruzachim Geetam or Fella-Gitam which is accompanied by musical instruments.
The sound of drums, violins, ghumats -a Goan percussion instrument and cymbals soak in the air.
The dholak is the director of this one act play, telling the story, while the whistle of the producer (mestri) serves as the curtain raiser. A few hotels in Goa organize special celebrations for their guests during the Goa carnival.
Things to keep in mind while planning a short trip to Goa in February
1. It is the peak season that means all the hotels, lodgings, guesthouses, and resorts will be packed and the tariff/ levy will shoot up to new highs, so book your accommodations ahead of time.
2. The roads of Goa will be crowded with individuals and floats. If you wish to visit a specific destination at the Festival, you should have to talk to your lodging staff about it.
3. Keep all of your belongings safe as pickpockets might hide around.
How to Reach Goa Carnival
Reaching Goa is easy as you can take a direct flight, choose to travel by train or get on board a luxury bus. However, there is a new option you must try & that is the Mumbai-Goa Angriya cruise. This newly introduced cruise offers several amenities to the travelers from luxurious accommodation to suit every budget to spas, lounge, restaurants, infinity pool, and an open deck.
So, are you planning to go on a fun-filled trip in February? The Goa carnival festival isn’t just for friends but for your family too!