‘Sangodd’ is one of the unique festivals celebrated in Goa. Besides an interesting back story, the festival brings a cheer to the fishing community of Goa. Festivities held in Sao Pedro, Candolim, Siolim, Ribandar and Agacaim are known across Goa. But, why do fishermen celebrate the festival?
Festival of the Saint is celebrated on June 29. He is one of the apostles of Jesus. He was a fisherman by profession and for this reason he is considered to be the patron Saint of fishermen. In Goa it has been mentioned that the only church where St. Peter is the patron Saint is located in Sao Pedro, also known as Panelim.
Two or three fishing boats or canoes are tied up together. The boats are turned into floating platforms accompanied with decorations such as model of a church. These floats have music system, dance performances, singers and skits onboard to entertain the crowds standing witness on the banks.
On this day the fishermen set aside their nets and moor their boats. The feast day starts with a mass but before the mass begins the priest first blesses the Sangodd. It is made by joining a series of canoes. A picture of St.Peter is fastened to a bamboo pole and tied to the Sangodd. After the mass priest, devotees and a brass band go aboard the Sangodd. They make a trip to Patto and back.
On their journey they stop at a chapel dedicated to St.Peter on the river bank, the priest blesses the chapel. He also blesses the River and ‘ario’ (arecanut tree polls used by fishermen to set up their fishing nets). The bamboos used to tie the canoes together are later sold in an auction.
Orda and Saipem two wards of the village have their own Sangodd. Two boats are attached and a large platform is created. Upon the platform a model of the church is built. The platform has various activities such as dances, songs, skits, musical performances onboard. Villagers usually stand on the river bank or accompany the Sangodd on their boats.
The festival still retains its traditional essence. In Goa which is becoming more and more commercialized everyday this festivals helps one understand what originally attracted tourists to Goa.