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Goa Carnival Festival

General Information

  • Dates of the carnival : 25th February to 28th February
  • Location : Throughout Goa
  • Type : Cultural
  • Merriment : Festival of Color, Song and Music


Are you planning to go for a fun filled tour sometime in February and still can’t figure out which destination you should choose? Then we suggest that you go to Goa; Goa because the state hosts a very lively and exhilarating carnival. You will totally love the energy, the enthusiasm and the joyous celebrations taking place during the carnival. Plus generally speaking, Goa is the state which is famous for being the pleasure ground for national as well as international travellers.

There are elaborate celebrations where you can see cheerful crowds just loosing themselves to the madness and vibe of the festivities. It is truly a dance and music extravaganza for the people who have never seen it. There is a parade stuffed with beautiful floats, entertainers and dances at the end of the carnival giving it a grand close every year. To put things in better perspective, let us further throw some light on the history of the carnival.


History :

Goa carnival was brought to India by Portuguese during the time they ruled here and approximately 500 years ago the first every carnival was organised in the state. But it was not the Portuguese originally who had these kind of exuberant riotous celebrations, the culture actually came from ancient Rome and Greece and spread to Spain and Portugal eventually. This quite explains that when Portuguese colonised Goa they wanted their culture to be dominant here and hence this carnival was organised. It had a Portuguese flavour to it earlier but with time the celebrations have taken up the essence of Goan culture and thus people identify with the festivities and take part in the carnival in crazily large numbers.

Entry To The Carnival :

There are no entry tickets for the carnival and you just have to come and take part in the celebrations. Everyone is invited with open arms to join in and revel in the four days of exhilaration and unmatched exuberance.

Celebrations :

There would be no doubt in your mind by now that Goa Carnival is the most awaited event in the state. You can get this from the fact that preparations start in December to make the carnival a roaring success! Music, dance and entertainment are the shining features of the carnival and along with these there are plays of a short length which portray the Goan traditions and culture very beautifully.

It is organised before the month of Lent is going to begin when people would have to completely abstain themselves from the consumption of meat. Starting with a grand procession on the Fat Saturday evening, the parade is lead by King Momo who sets out with his entourage of dancers, bands, clowns, acrobats and other entertainers to spread the message of merry making across the state. The parade moves down through the main street of Panaji, the capital city of Goa to come to rest after some hours of what seems like “endless gaiety”. The festivities end with red and black dance where women and men dresses in red coloured upper garments and black coloured lower garments dance to the beats of the bands in a festooned procession. Ash Wednesday as it is called is the last day of the carnival when the month of Lent begins.

One thing to note is that the feasting is a major part of the festivities and hence this is time for the foodies to venture out and taste some of the best cuisines, drinks and wines here. Pure indulgence, we must say!

Important Tips :

  • Booking hotels and travel tickets well in advance will be of huge benefit because you might get your hands on attractive discounts with early booking. Also, advance planning and booking will be good because you would not like to get stuck in the rush hour as Goa is flooded with tourists during the time of carnival.

  • Take your best clothes with yourself and get ready to rock the carnival and also don’t wear any shoes that are uncomfortable or may give you a shoe bite as there are a lot of street activities which you may be taking part in.

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