Every year, from Fat Saturday to Fat Tuesday- just a day before Ash Wednesday, Goa is covered in frenzied hues of celebrations and irresistible exuberance that envelops the streets, houses and in fact, the entire state of Goa with a joie-de-vivre that actually needs to be experienced to be believed. Just what the doctor ordered to get over those tough winters- Holidays in Goa!
Goa Carnival 2019 will be celebrated from Saturday, March 02, 2019 to Tuesday, March 05, 2019.
A salubrious paradise in India, holidays in Goa continue to be a favorite on every American and European travelers’ wish list. They come here for beaches, sun, sea, sand and trance and extend their stays for the variegated blend of India, Portuguese and other countries’ influences. Everybody who comes here takes a little piece of Goa with them and leaves behind a precious little of their culture too- making Goa charismatically undefinable.
The Carnival has skyrocketed as one of the topmost dates in the calendar of travelers for holidays in Goa. Scores of tourists and travelers from all over India and abroad line up the streets excitedly to be a part of the celebrations before they begin the abstinence and penitence during lent.
If you’ve read or viewed or participated in any South American Mardi Gras, you will have an instant connection to the Goa Carnival- identical effervescence will welcome you and jab you to share the good times. The friendly Goans are legendary for their hospitality and the carnival is perhaps the best time to understand and immerse in their flamboyant culture. Nothing in India comes even remotely close to the multihued and quaint festivities of these four days.
The stark Portuguese influence is unmissable yet the distinct Indian flavors that are amazingly blended in, give the Goa Carnival such an iconic status that every single hotel room is booked well in advance for those 4 days. Restaurants and the quintessential Goan bakeries swarm with revellers from around the globe! The cities, particularly Panaji, Mapusa, Margao and Vasco wear a festive look and the electrifying atmosphere is so infectious as to make even the most reluctant of visitors an alacritous part of the celebrations.
Holidays in Goa Carnival Activities
Come Fat Saturday and the decks are cleared for impatient Goans to rush out of their homes and offices and shops to the streets for either being a part of the massive parade or simply for watching the grand procession led by King Momo and his companions.
It is traditionally believed that Goa comes under the rule of King Momo on these 4 days, and his unpretentious message for the locals and travelers to Goa alike is Kha, piye aani majja kar (English: Eat, drink and make merry.)
It’s like an ambitious circus decided to play out all its spectacles on the road. There are wonderful floats ranging in size from a bullock cart to a giant 12-wheeled truck, clowns, minstrels, fire-eaters, mind-boggling acrobats, masked dancers and local bands eager to impress their romantic partners or parents or scouting agents or purely enjoying being a part of the annual shindig.
Lately, the carnival has gained in reputation as being the perfect occasion to kindle a new romance or rekindle an old flame. Well, who’s complaining if all those merriment trigger a few heartfelt unions? Holidays in Goa are incomplete without a little harmless flirting, right?
The Goa Carnival is also the best time to experience Goan culture within a short span of time- there are short plays around the corners, traditional Goan delicacies are made available at eateries, and the famed musicians from remote Goan villages gather in the cities to present the traditional voices and music of the state. On balance, it’s a non-stop party that requires you to make an earnest effort to attend!
Traditional Goa Carnival Specialties
Traditional practices are being replaced, slowly yet gradually. One of them though is followed due to its timeless character- eating out! The restaurants and eating places are expected to prepare their best fish and seafood dishes this day. The catholic households use this period of holidays in Goa to clean their kitchens for the upcoming 40 day period; hence food is available round the corner.
Another tradition that has retained its basic edifice yet transformed with time is the one-act fold play, known locally as Khell or Fell. Accompanied with melodious music from local instruments, the Khell is usually a sarcastic and comic take on local events and highlight the human idiosyncrasies with a message to change for the better.
One tradition that has transformed for good is greeting people and smearing them with eggs, flour and fruit pulp! Perhaps kitchen cleaning took a detour for some people! Nevertheless, it is now replaced with colors- yes; the same colors used at Holi are also used to greet each other during Goa Carnival! From Holi to Holy is indeed a humongous journey for India’s secular fabric.
Holidays in Goa Travel Tips for attending the Goa Carnival
Goa Carnival marks the beginning of the climax of peak season; consequently hotels and home stays are packed to the rafters. Thousands of visitors from colder countries make a beeline to the state to celebrate the end of winters with a sprightly holiday in Goa feast and join the revelries before lent.
Air tickets are known to zoom past double their cost. If you’re planning to visit Goa during this period, now is the right time to make your bookings. Every penny saved is a penny spent to celebrate the exodus of harsh winter with the Goa Carnival.
Viva Carnival; Viva Goa!
March 02, 2019 is the date to mark in your calendars and make your bookings well in advance.
Our UNESCO World Heritage Tour is designed to take you around the stunning beaches and offbeat corners of Goa along with Karnataka’s immaculate historical places like Hampi and Badami. The tour is completely customizable so you are able to spend more days in Goa before and during the Goa Carnival. Just ask us, we will be happy to curate a picture-perfect voyage for your pursuits.