Everything You Need to Know About Goa Carnival
In any way, Goa is a state that remains in celebratory mood throughout the year. No glossary of celebrations will be complete without a mention of Goa Carnival. Festivity that is full blooded melting pot of all holiday traditions with spectacular floats and full blast sounds, the Carnival of Goa attracts people from all over the world.
You enjoy the celebrations when entire Goa goes into a frenzy whereas the local businessmen make sure that you remain well fed as they sell all kinds of food and drinks including Goan specialties along the way. This carnival welcomes the arrival of spring with unmatched warmth. It is more of a cultural function rather than a religious function and has absorbed Hindu traditions as well along with western dance forms.
In the past, women were not allowed to participate in the carnival and it was left up to men to don women’s dresses and participate. Well, that is not the case anymore as men and women equally take part in the festivities and the number of revelers simply keeps increasing each year.
The English word carnival is actually carnaval in Portuguese and it means “to take away meat”. This practice is actually followed during the period of Lent when the Christians take up fasting for 40 days in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilds. In these days, Christians stay away from meat. So, in a way the carnival days are that of merry making just before the rigorous month of Lent which is somewhat similar to the Muslim month of Ramzan.
The carnival is something that we have inherited from the from Portuguese rule and now it has come to symbolize the fun loving character of Goa and its people. It began with the practice of discarding the old things by throwing them at the passers by that would develop into a fierce battle that’d ensue in the streets with even brooms serving as weapons. The people would indulge in unhindered eating and merrymaking.
The present day carnival still retains a flavour of the past. Every year during the carnival, a king of chaos is elected who is called King Momo. He is the chief of festivities during these three days.