Goa is all set to celebrate the annual Goa Carnival from 25th February to 28th February 2017. Goa will come alive to celebrate the four day Carnival with spectacular float parades, music, dance and an array of events.
Goa Carnival is the most famous festival in the state and has been celebrated since the 18th century CE. The word Carnival is derived from a Latin word meaning to take away meat and is an expression of the 40-day period of fasting of Lent, during which abstinence from meat is a rule. The Carnival is exclusive and unique to Goa, and was introduced by the Portuguese who ruled over Goa for over 500 years. The origins and nature of the Carnival can be traced to the hedonistic feasts of ancient Rome and Greece.
Elaborate floats, music, dancing and decor will form part of the four day Carnival extravaganza. Float parades in Panjim, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa will be held from February 25th -28th respectively. The carnival concludes with the famous red-and-black dance held by the Club National in Panjim on the final day. The legendary King Momo will rule over Goa for four days and will throw open Carnaval revelry in the capital city on 25th February 2017. The float parades are organized in association with the State Tourism Department. Although, the four-day festival is primarily celebrated by Christians, it has also absorbed Hindu tradition revelry, western dance forms, and turned into a pageantry of sorts.
The Carnival is not celebrated anywhere else in India and was in decline even in Goa in the last few years of Portuguese rule. It was revived with the Liberation of Goa, and is a boost to tourism drawing lakhs of tourists from far and wide to witness and participate in the four day revelry. It is the best time to experience Goa Tourism.
Various Carnival committees have been set up and guidelines drawn up for smooth conduct of the four day festivities. In addition to maintaining the traditional and cultural essence of Carnival, this year the focus is weeding out non eco-friendly floats, polluting junk vehicles and a total crack down on indecency. Goa carnival is an open-event and can be attended by anybody. There are no tickets for this colorful festival. Hotel bookings must be done in advance for carnival as the festival attracts thousands of tourists.
Apart from the carnival, tourists can also visit some popular Goa tourist places which include Dudhsagar Falls, Basilica of Bomb Jesus, Se Cathedral, Reis Mogos Fort, Aguada Fort and Chapora Fort. Goa beaches are visited by large number of international and domestic tourists each year in the peak season from November to February.