Jan 31, 2016

Quote of the Post- "Goa Carnival is like a cherry on top for Goa lovers" - Quote about trip to Goa Carnival 'Viva' - by Sachin Kumar Gupta

Carnivals and festivals have always been celebrated around the world and India has always been one of the lead, given the diverse culture and people we have. A lot of these have been gifted by the invaders too and Viva Festival, in Goa is one of the best ones we adopted. This is one of the Portuguese festivals which was brought in to India by King Momoin the year 1961. Being one among the listed items in our 'Must Visit' chart, we finally made for it in Feb. It was a day just before the Carnival, when we visited Deltin Royale and guess what, we met modern King Momo who announced the event open. 

Goa Viva Carnival Dates: 
2015: Feb 14 to Feb 17
2016: Feb 6 to Feb 9

Here are the details of Goa Carnival put together as is, what we knew and what we experienced! It is celebrated, every year, for four days (Saturday to Tuesday). The celebration starts on the "Fat Saturday" before "Ash Wednesday". This festival combines fiestas of diverse cultures, religions and beliefs. The Carnival comprises of a number of parades with different themes, bands, floats and dances in the evening. There are parades in Panaji (Panjim), Margao, Ponda, Vasco, Shiroda and Mapusa where streets blaze with music and color. Main highlight of the Viva Carnival happens on "Fat Saturday" in the capital city, Panaji. The excited and fun-filled non-stop extravaganza of fun, frolic, music, and dance are uniquely celebrated like other Carnival countries. This festival attracts thousands of tourists.

We reached Panaji for Carnival Parade just in time. However, suggest you plan to reach early as there is heavy traffic and finding a parking space is a herculean task. It was amazing to see most of the people were uniquely dressed. There are specific themes on which each of the group performs with colorful floats. Floats are the major highlight of the festival, especially the ones parading with King Momo, the initiator of the festival. Most of the floats also carry music system with them. The best floats are prized well. King Momo distributes the prizes to the winners. Now a days, a few floats are commercially sponsored. However, the whole event could have been better to match international standards. Screening committee should eliminate floats that do not conform to the guidelines chalked out for participating tableaus and raise the Goa Carnival standards. 

The event is so colorful and vibrant that you may feel out of the place, if not dressed funkily or don't have a prop. But not to worry, the local vendors help in this completely and there are a loads of them. Important is how good are you in negotiating with them. There are vendors, selling head gears, props, masquerades, and ya, a few who can paint your face so as to fit you right in. We opted for multi-colored masquerades. River front is the area, which is set up for VIPs. People stood on the road sides, above the bridges, buildings and wherever they could find place to cheer the parade. Ideally you should try and find a less crowded location or a road side building, for best view of the parade. We did try to capture the beauty and fun of the eve in our camera, but it is to be experienced in person.

If you are in Goa during Carnival time, don't miss this festive event. You can enjoy with friends, spouse or family as festival fits for all ages and groups. If you are heading for the carnival, book your hotels in advance. There is no fee to attend, everybody is invited to join in. This makes it a unique event that brings together different cultures and combines them into one large festival. Check out other things to do and places to visit in Goa.

“When in Goa, do as the Goans do”.

1 comment:

  1. goa. it looks cool. we will visit with family next year.


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