Goa Carnival 2023 is here! Here's what you can expect
The stunning beach destination of Goa garners attention for a lot of things that make it so touristy. One of these includes the Goa Carnival, a riot of colors, culture, art, entertainment, and food, which makes it an unmissable experience. And guess what? This year's celebration is just around the corner, so plan your travel already! Here are all the details.
Goa Carnival was first introduced by the Portuguese dwellers
Introduced by the Portuguese population who once ruled Goa about 500 years ago, this carnival is one-of-its-kind in India. Although originally celebrated by Catholics, today this all-encompassing festival has people from across regions, religions, and beliefs coming together. There's music, dance, drinks, and so much to look forward to, which makes it a melting pot of entertainment and festivities.
Celebrations start before the period of Lent
Also called Carnival de Goa, its celebration starts before the period of Lent in February-March. Lent is 40 days of praying and fasting for Catholics during which they also abstain from meat. The period ends prior to Easter and is a significant event for those observing it. It is based on the traditions of Mardi Gras, a period of celebration before abstinence.
The 4-day festival is happening in February this year
Goa Carnival, which is four days of sheer entertainment, is being held from February 18 to February 21 this year. Four major and important towns of this beach destination including Panjim, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa, and Margao, will be gracefully decked up during the celebration. From streets to beach shacks, every nook and cranny of these locations are decorated.
Colorful parades, non-stop music, delicious food, and so much more
Carnival de Goa has been a springboard of entertainment each year and this time it is likely to be no different. The celebration will feature colorful parades with people donning vibrant costumes and quirky masks. Also, there's non-stop music, dancing on the streets, grand tableaus with artistic installments, authentic Goan cuisine with the local drink feni, interesting competitions, and so much more.
The procession is headed by King Momo
The grand parade is headed by Carnival King Momo, played by a person selected from the beach destination. Surrounded by dancers, clowns, and acrobats, he declares the commencement by saying, "Kha, Piye, Aani Majja Kar," meaning eat, drink, and be merry.
Masquerade balls and the tradition of Assoltes are also organized
During the carnival, people also indulge in a tradition called Assoltes, which is all things fun. In this, the carnival performers visit their friends in wacky makeup and costumes to prank them. Once their friends figure out that they are being pranked, they host the pranksters with food and drinks. The nighttime is for partying and extravagant masquerade balls.
The iconic 'Red and Black Dance' marks the end
The last day of Goa Carnival is said to be the most special as it offers the last chance to immerse in the festive spirit before Lent begins. The iconic Red and Black Dance is organized on this day, marking the end of the celebration.