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Secret behind the sea bathing tradition in Goa

Many might wonder what is so special about locals going to the beach to be written about? Well, in a state with a long coastline it may not sound that big a deal. It is not the act but the reason behind going to the beach that is more important. Many Goans believe that bathing in the sea before the onset of monsoon has health benefits. Interestingly, Goans living in the neighbouring states also come to Goa to take part in it.

Sea bathing usually starts after the Shirgao zatra (feast) and it lasts till the monsoon arrives. People either choose to go to the beach everyday for a few days or even set up their own tents on the beach. They usually carry their provisions along with them for the duration such as food, clothes, bedding etc. The tall trees provides ample shade for the locals, from the sweltering hot sun that May brings.

“They’re not like the other tourists who jump into the water at anytime of the day. There are many of them these days. When it gets too hot during midday and the afternoon, they relax in the shade of pine trees or shacks.” A lifeguard was quoted in a report.

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Goans following the sea bathing ritual believe these baths yield medicinal benefits of the sea. They spend long duration in the sea bath to soak in the medicinal properties, which are found in the natural minerals of the deep blue sea. Goans believe that these baths help in treating acute bronchitis,  psoriasis as well as psoriatic arthritis. Many Studies have been conducted in this regard. The method is referred to as ‘Halotherapy‘. It is performed around the world, in countries such as Poland, Slovakia, United States and Canada.

So the next time you are feeling guilty for having too much fun on the beach in Goa, you can justify it by thinking about the positive health benefits that the sea is providing for your body.

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