It is that time of the year when Goa adorns a special look. The world famous Goa Carnival is ready to set stage from the 25th to the 28th February 2017. The significance of the carnival is simple – have a festival before the onset of Lent. The Portuguese are said to have started this – an affair more for themselves than the local Konkanis who just watched all the fun. A 500 year old tradition which started with a very Portuguese essence is now purely a Goan revelry. The carnival begins preparations soon after Christmas and besides the music and dance, it features short plays as well.
Carnival time is akin to merrymaking – everyone who is in Goa becomes a part of this unique festivity. The idea is to have fun. So there is dancing, fashion, music, food, beverages, short plays and games. The highlight is of course King Momo- the king of carnivals. There are many aspirants for the role and traditionally it just takes a tall fat man to be one! However, in Goa, the Goan Tourism board decides that the one who dons the title should be someone who has contributed significantly to the Goan entertainment industry (apart from being fat and tall!).
Balloons and streamers across the streets of Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco da Gama add color to the city. People are seen in their relaxed best. The parade which is supposed to be the court of King Momo is made of fire eaters, jesters, dancers and a brass band of musicians. The king encourages everyone to “Kha, piye aani majja kar”, which means Eat, drink and make merry.
While being in Goa during the carnival is a must do, if you happen to be in Goa otherwise, you must not forget to indulge in some local shopping, get adventurous with water sports, try your luck at the casinos and make way to some gastronomical escapades.
However, if you think that post the carnival, after all the fun and frolic, you would just want to lay back and unwind, you can always head to a sleepy and less crowded south Goa village. Spend some offbeat, less touristy time in in local homestays to relax and rejuvenate. After all, you need a small vacation even after a vacation to recuperate!