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Home » India Travel » Goa » Fairs & Festivals
Goa- Fairs & Festivals
Carnival  Goa Church and Chapel Feasts Goa Catholic Religious Feasts Goa Christmas Festivals
Church and Chapel Feasts
The little shrines and crosses that dot the Goan countryside give ample testimony to the devout nature of the Goans. And as dusk veils these religious symbols, the Goemkars rush to unveil the darkness with dozens of candles.
As they light the candles, grateful lips murmur prayers of thanksgiving for the day just gone
Bonderam (March)
One of the festivals from among the many, and which is common to all in Goa is the harvest festival or konsamchem fest. This festival symbolizes the remuneration for the efforts put by the farmers and thanks to the almighty God for the bountiful harvest. In the past bonderam was celebrated by the comunidades of Navelim, Goltim, Malar and Naroa.The celebrations were confined to parading the national flags of various countries, fixed atop bamboo stems and carried in March by tiny tots preceded by the brass band.The Bonderam were paraded around the village to demarcate the boundaries of the four comunidades of the island. Nowadays the celebration besides the procession of Bonderam includes Floats which are made by the different village wards accompanied by beat groups. The festival is sponsored by industrial houses.
Carnival in Goa is another festival from the many the Portuguese brought to Goa and has remained even after the change of Governance. Carnival was a populist festival in good old days with lots of people young and old elite and common folk spontaneously participating in it without any qualms. There was not even an inkling of commercialization in the carnival of those days. On this day the King Momo parade would be held. During the three Carnival days revelers wearing festive costumes would go round the cities singing and dancing. There would also be groups of boys going around wearing colorful fancy dress and carrying a bag full of cocotes, rotten eggs and tomatoes. They would also carry with them indigo powder and sometimes sootToday Carnival in Goa has been restricted to King Momos parade in the four main towns in Goa, starting on Sunday at Panjim, then Margao, Mapusa and Vasco da Gama respectively. There are a number of floats which are sponsored by big commercial enterprises. Besides these parades people look forward to the various dance shows organized by clubs and event organizers. The most important being the traditional and very old festa de Leques.Red and black at Clube National is another. Now a day us there is a lot of competition in this kind of entertainment and some places have more than one show organized on the same day
Catholic Religious Feasts  
After the 40 days of lent begins the celebrations of various feasts in honor of the patron or other saints of the churches and chapels. The month of may is a favored month for such festivities. Many villages have feasts celebrated on Sundays in the month of May. Some feasts were also celebrated on week days, according to the Roman Catholic calendar. The feast is preceded by the nine days novenas and especially in the village the preparatory days and the feast day was an occasion for rejoicing and meeting relatives and friends who were away during the year. On the feast day the brass band plays the Alvarado early at five in the morning. The band winds its way from the church through the village or city playing a special rendition called Alvarado which literally means dawn. However the fairs of the feasts celebrated before the arrival of monsoons which includes the feast of Accession of Jesus, in Panjim, Holy cross in Santa Cruz and of Holy Spirit in Margao that a much bigger fair was put up. Since the feast are celebrated in the month of May, things required for use during the ensuing monsoon months were available for sale.
Christmas Festivals  
Christmas is celebrated world over by the Christians as the day of the birth of Jesus Christ. The exact date of Jesus birth is not known, but most Christians observe December 25th as his birthdate.Special services are held on this day in the churches which are attended by Christians and also others .In fact Christmas is a universal festival. During the season they exchange gifts and decorate their homes with holly, mistletoe, and Christmas trees. The word Christmas comes from cristes maese, an early English phrase that means Mass of Christ. For most Christians, the Christmas season begins on the Sunday nearest to November 30th. This date is the feast day of St Andrew, one of the 12 apostles of Christ. The nearest Sunday is the first day of Advent a four-week period during which Christians prepare for the celebrations of Christmas. The word advent means a coming and refers to the coming o Jesus on Christmas day. In olden days weddings were not celebrated during advent and Gloria is not said during the mass. It is on the Christmas midnight mass announces the birth of Jesus by singing Gloria. In the same way no religious Feasts are celebrated on Advent Sunday. These are held on Monday. Come December and Christians in Goa get set to celebrate the Christmas festival in a big way. Much has changed during the years, from traditional homely to modern commercialized. From live branches of pine trees to beautifully created and a variety of folding and washable plastic and some other synthetic materials. The traditional Christmas tree in Goa was a branch of pine trees, which was picked up a day
In goa the harvest Feast is celebrated in the month of August by which time the rice grains are formed. However the feast is not celebrated on the same day all over but on different days. In salcete most of the villages celebrate this on august 15th but the village of Raia has the festivities on August 15th which is the feast day of the Patroness of the church, Our lady of Snow. In Bardez the villages of aldona and Salvador do Mundo are first to celebrate the Feast on August 6thOn this occasion the statue of the Saviors of the world is carried on a procession from the church to the field opposite where the new paddy is harvested. The statue has a golden sickle in its hand which is used to symbolically harvest the paddy by the priest.In Tiswadi the harvest feast is celebrated on August 24th but some of the villages have the feast on the Sunday following this day. The villagers of Divar celebrate the harvest feast with an interesting parade of Bonderam (Flags) on the eve of the feast day which is on a Sunday following August 24th. On the 24th is the grand Finale of the four day long festival. It is on this day that a committee of Gaunkars carries avel and a Sheaf of paddy stalk to the se Cathedral where a high mass is held.
With the celebration of Easter the new annual liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church begins. For forty days, Catholics prepare for the resurrection of Jesus Christ with fasting, Prayer and self-sacrificeAfter Easter the Church is all set to celebrate different feasts of various saints and patrons of the churches. We can say that the festive season for Catholics in Goa starts with the celebrations of the feast at the Jesus Nazareth Chapel. A well known tradition observed by the people attending the feast is the eating of kanji (pez) which is distributed to each and everyone free of costs.
Processionn & Saints
The Lenten period in Goa is observed by the Catholics with due consideration to the liturgical practices laid down by the church. Theses practices came to us down the centuries with the Portuguese, who introduced Christianity in Goa Many religious Processions were conducted by the various religious orders existing in Old Goa.People accompany the procession which goes around the village on a prefixed route. people also pass under the Charols as they believe that they will be blessed and their sins forgiven. At the end of the procession thecharols are arranged on the adro in a semi circle and a sermon is delivered for the faithful. After the sermon the chrols are kept inside the church for veneration for two days.

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