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Festivals in Goa That Depict A Universal Culture Worth Living For

While most will relate the state of Goa with beaches, liquor and modernity, this beachy haven is in every feel a land of culture, heritage and traditions.  
 
Every year, a large wide variety of festivals in Goa are celebrated throughout the year which serves as important attractions for vacationers and locals alike. 

It’s high time we recognise that Sunburn is history however Goa constantly has so much more to offer, so be a part of these festivals in Goa and have fun like a Goan.  
 
We’ve acquired them all blanketed for you from standard festivals like Goa Carnival, Sao Joao to Goa Art & Literary Festival. Book your tickets accurately now keeping the best season in mind. 

Goa Carnival 

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Perhaps the most well-known of all Goan festivals, the Carnival is the epitome of celebrations in Goa. It is celebrated for three days and three nights and preceded through the month of Lent. Introduced by the Portuguese colonial rule in the 18th century, this festival is that time of the year when the legendary King Momo takes over the operations of the fairs and events. 

Goan Carnival, the most fun-filled festival in Goa, is supposed to be a feast of food, drinks, music, dance and fun – before the forty days of fasting and absenteeism of meat in the month of Lent. The days are marked with the aid of vibrant and musical parades which commence in the capital Panaji and travel all through the state making it one of the most famous festivals of Goa. The evenings are saved for gala balls, and people engage in partying on the streets all through the night. 

Venue: Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco da Gama 

Festival time: 26th February – 1st March 2022

Main Attraction: It culminates at Panjim with the famous Red-and-Black dance. 

Image Source: fabhotels.com 

Sao Joao Festival 

It is one of the most famous catholic festivals celebrated in Goa. Celebrated each year on June 24th, this festival is a tribute to St John the Baptist.  
 
The splendour of this festival lies in its madness. Villagers soar into streams, wells and ponds which signifies the happiness of St John the Baptist when Jesus was born. 

Pool parties, personal Sao Joao parties, friends all decked in crowns made up of Kopel flowers and leaves, dance, tune and prosperous Goan meals makes the festival of Sao Joao the fine one. So, usher in one of the magical feasts of India. 

Venue: Panjim, Goa 

Festival time: Starts in the afternoon of 23 June and lasts until the morning of 24 June 

Main attraction: Boat Races 

Image Source: thegoavilla.com 

St Francis Xavier Feast 

Celebrated in the month of December, this feast is celebrated every year in Old Goa at the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Preceding the feast of 9 days of Novenas are held and attended by pilgrims from all over the world. There is a fete too where the vendors sell sweetmeats, toys, and clothing.  
 
The body of St Francis Xavier lies in a silver casket in the Church of Bom Jesus in Goa. St Xavier was once an incredible Catholic missionary, who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the humans of Asia. It’s virtually one of the most well-known fairs of Goa that you can’t pass over out on if you’re travelling Goa in December. 

Venue: Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa 

Festival time: 24th November to 3rd December 

Main attraction:  Ceremonies to honor his death are performed on December 3, the day he was buried. 

Image Source: digitalindia.com 

Bonderam 

During the Portuguese colonization period, there were intense disputes about sharing of land between two sides of the Divar village.  
 
This quite frequently led to conflicts, violence and chaos. As a solution, the government at that time (Portuguese) marked the boundaries with flags. Hence the festival involves the presentation of mock battles and colourfully painted boats. 

Venue: Island of Divar 

Commences: Takes place on the 4th Saturday of the August every year. 

Main attraction: Float parades and live music performances. 

Image Source: golokaso.com

Dahi Handi 

A big festival and team sport across India, Dahi Handi is known as Krishna Janmashtami in the other parts of the country – it is celebrated to address the birth of Lord Krishna.  
 
The celebrations started with Vrindavan where Lord Krishna was brough up but the festival became popular in Goa as well. The festival is re-enacted in Goa as the locals hang clay pots full of yogurt at a great height and later groups of men and boys make human pyramids to break them.  
 
It’s one of those Goa festivals that’s worth a sight if your city fails to capture the real beauty of Dahi Handi. 

Venue: Everywhere in Goa 

Festival time: 19th August 2022

Main attraction: Team Sport, Human Pyramids breaking clay pots filled with yogurt, Traditional singing and music on the streets. 

Image Source: freepressjournal.in 

Tulsi Lagna 

Families all over from Goa gather together to celebrate Tulsi Lagna where they paint a fresh coat tulsi vrindavans and deck them up with flowers. Lamps & Candles are lit adding to the festive spirit. It’s basically a ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi plant to Vishnu/Shaligram (Hindu God). It marks the beginning of the wedding season and end of the monsoon season. 

Venue: Everywhere in Goa 

Festival time: 5th November 2022

Main attraction: Signifies beginning of the wedding season in Hinduism, Delish Wedding Feats, Festival of lights 

Image Source: thegoan.net 

Serendipity Art Festival 

It’s a multidisciplinary festival that brings together visual, culinary and performative practices from India and other countries in a way you have never seen before. It’s spread across various venues in Panaji, Goa – The festival is a perfect platform for budding artists to showcase your work and collaborate. These events in Goa are definitely worth attending as they’ve got the best showcases waiting to be witnessing by you. 

Venue: Panaji, Goa 

Main attraction: Akshayambara, Line up of scintillating programmes spanning music, dance, theatre, visual arts and culinary arts, Exhibition. 

Image Source: fabhotels.com 

Narkasur 

As the rest of the world celebrates Diwali, Goa has its own way to celebrate this beautiful festival by burning huge effigies of the demon Narkasur who is known as the legend of Diwali.  
 
According to the story of the legend of Narkasur who ruled the beautiful land of Goi obtained lots of powers and became very authoritative. He started to spread terror and cause tremendous destruction.  
 
People of Goa prayed the gods and asked Lord Krishna for help – Lord Krishna shot his famous Sudharshan Chakra and cut off the evil head of Narkasur. Hence as a symbol of victory of good over evil – This festival is celebrated. 

Venue: Everywhere in Goa 

Festival time: 23rd October 2022

Main attraction: Magnificient effigies of demon Narkasur 

Image Source: youtube.com

Ganesh Chaturthi 

This festival in Goa is symbolized by the work of life-like clay idols of Lord Ganesha. It is celebrated for two days and can also go up to 21 days. People decorate their houses and conduct pujas where the priest clad in saffron dhoti and shawl invokes life into the idol through chanting of mantras. 
 
One should definitely visit the Hanuman Temple at Altinho and also witness the artistic installations of Lord Ganesh in Panjim. 

Venue: Everywhere in Goa 

Festival time: 31st August 2022

Main attraction: Magnificient Idols & Life-Like Clay Sculptures of Lord Ganesha, Decorating Houses, Tasting Modaks 

Image Source: tripraja.com 

Shigmo 

Colours and soul soothing madness all around Shigmo festival is a euphoria of festival tourism in Goa. It would not be wrong to say that it is a festival of vibrant colours.  
 
It is celebrated to welcome the delightful spring season. Shigmo festival gives you the best opportunity to experience Goan traditions. It is one of the most popular cultural festivals in Goa. 

Folk dances in colourful costumes like Divli and Ghode Modni, Gopha and Phugadi Float parades depicting regional mythology, etc. Are the major highlights of this fascinating colourful festival that will leave you spellbound and in joy? 

Venue: Everywhere in Goa 

Festival time: March 

Main attraction: Festival of colors, Traditional dances, accompanied by traditional instruments, mythological scenes, traditional singing. 

Image Source: aajtak.in 

International Film Festival India (IFFI) 

This is one of the biggest film festivals of the country and is attended by the glitterati of the film industries around the world. Various directors, producers, writers, critics, actors, distributors and movie buffs attend it to get updated with the latest genres of the silver screen. It is also graced with various food stalls and games. A number of movies are screened and awarded. 

Venue: Panaji, Goa 

Festival time: December 

Image Source: thegoan.net

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