History of Goa
Location and Climate of Goa
Nightlife of Goa ] [
Culture of Goa ] [
Cusine of Goa ]
FESTIVALS OF GOA
Fairs of Goa ] [
Folklore of Goa ] [
Water Sports in Goa ] [
Churches of Goa ] [
Temples of Goa ] [
Demography of Goa ]
City of Panaji Goa ] [
Wildlife of Goa ] [
Map of Goa ]
It comes as a pleasant surprise to many visitors to Goa that the
state has as many Hindu festivals as its better well-known Christian
ones. The medley goes to reflect the underlying fusion of two
streams of powerful cultures.
Mahashivratri, a celebration in honor of Lord Shiva held at all the
principal Siva temples, such as the Rudreshwar, Mangueshi, Nagueshi,
Sri Mahadev – Bhumika and other temples. Ratha-Saptami festival
takes place in February at the Mallikarjuna Temple. Maruti-Zatra at
Sri Mahalakshmi Temple is important, as Mahalakshmi is the presiding
deity of Panaji, Goa’s capital city. Mahalsa Jatra or
Vijayarathotsav (Chariot Festival) is celebrated at Mahalsa Temple
of Mohini in Ponda.
Shigmotsav or Shigmo is a grand five-day festival of colors,
celebrated distinctively in the villages, corresponding with Holi or
Spring Festival. Held for one-week up to the full-moon day in March,
Shigmo is universally celebrated in Goa, but especially at Panaji,
Mapusa, Vasco-da-Gama and Margao.
Ghodemodni or parade of the horse riders is a part of Shigmo and is
found in Fatorpa and Bicholim. Hypnotic and rhythmic music of drums
and shistles accompany the martial dance, which parades down the
main street, imitating horses and their riders.
Rombat takes place on the second and third day of Shigmo. It is a
procession of men in traditional dress carrying banners and
umbrellas, dancing to the music of drums. Young boys wave green
twigs, signifying the arrival of spring.
Drama Festivals form an important part of Shigmo with most villages
staging plays during the festival week.
Holi is celebrated as Gulal or Rangapanchami at Sri Damodar Temple
The three-day festival of Gade at Mahadev Bhumika temple attracts
Kalas Utsav is celebrated on a major scale every alternate year at
Sri Morjaee Temple in Pernem. Visitors from Maharashtra and
Karnataka attend the seven-day festivities, which are
Ram Navami or the birthday of Lord Rama is celebrated at Ramnath
Chaitra Purnima is celebrated at Sri Mahalakshmi Temple at Panaji,
and during the nine days preceding the full moon, at Sri Vithal
Temple in Sanquelim. It is also widely celebrated at Nagueshi,
Chandranath, Cudnem and Mashem in Canacona.
This is homecoming season for Many Goans settled away from Goa. It
is also the fruit season and Feni-making season. A distinctive Goan
aperitif, Feni comes from cashew apples. In addition it is
Mirg is on 6th June. It is the start of the monsoon season. The
Christian Mirg is one day earlier. If the rains fail, prayers are
offered to the Catholic saints born this month – St. Anthony, St.
John the Baptist and St. Peter and St. Paul. In Goa there is a happy
mingling of festivals and feast days for the common good of all.
Rainy season with no major festival.
Gokul Ashtami or Janamashtami is the Birthday of Lord Krishna. This
marks the beginning of Goa’s harvest festival. At Narve village in
Bicholim, people gather for pilgrimage from far and wide.
Ganesh Chaturthi is the Birthday of Lord Ganesh, the most important
deity in the Konkan, and is celebrated all over Goa. Thousands
return to Goa for this festival, which is associated with a good
Novidade: In each village, the first offering is made to the church
and the paddy specially blessed. No farmer, whether Hindu or
Christian, will harvest his rice crop before it is offered in a
ceremony called ‘Novidade’ in which the parish priest himself
harvests a sheaf of rice and returns with it to the Church. Local
people accompany him with music, fire-works and jubilation. It is a
true feast day for all. Women folk of Goa’s earliest tribal settlers
perform a dance called Bhandup in the second half of the month.
Navaratri or the nine nights festival associated with Lord Rama’s
defeat of Ravana, demon-king of Lanka, culminates in the grand
festival of Dussehra. Dussehra is celebrated by devotees of the
Mother Goddess as her festival. The Sri Bhagavati Temple in Pernem
has a fortnight’s festivities on the occasion. Special celebrations
for Navaratra Utsav are held at Shantadurga, Nagueshi, Mahalakshmi
and Ramnath Temples at Ponda and at Kalika Devi Temples in Kasarpal.
The Dhangar Dance is a dance of worship performed during this
The Kirtan Mahotsasv or religious music festival takes place at
Quepem in September and is an all-night celebration.
Deepawali is the great festival of lights. It is universally
celebrated in Goa, in homes, on the
streets, in shops and, of course, in religious places.
Kejagiri Purnima could fall early in Aghrana. It is the full moon
following Dussehra and at Mardol in Ponda there are special
celebrations to mark this auspicious day.
Malni Purnima is the major festival at Sri Devaki Krishna Temple at
The Zatra of Shri Shantadurga is held at Dhargali in Pernem. The
deity is taken out of the temple in a colorful procession for the
day. The annual zatra of Shri Shantadurga at Kunkoliemkarin at
Fatorpa in Quepem also falls in this month. Thousands flock to
attend the festival from afar.
Datta Jayanti is celebrated as the annual festival at Shri Datta
Temple at Dattawadi, Sanquelim.
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