In the days when Goa was ruled lock, stock and barrel by the Portuguese, the tradition of an annual festival- held four days before the start of Lent- began. It started as a bit of a farce, where the white colonial rulers pretended to be 'black' slaves, and the slaves, mostly from Mozambique, plastered their faces with flour and took on the role of the masters. The local Konkanis watched in amusement- as they still do, to some extent, whenever a feni-befuddled tourist tries joining in the fun.
Goa Carnival History
The carnival celebrations date back to almost 500 years when Goa was a colony of the Portuguese. Incidentally the culture of riotous celebrations were initially popular in ancient Rome and Greece, that later became famous in Spain and Portugal as well. Hence when Goa was colonised by the Portuguese, they introduced the carnival to Goa. In those days the carnival had a very Portuguese essence, and though there are traces of Portuguese in current celebrations, the carnival today is more Goan in flavour and is one of the most important events with the entire state of Goa being decked up with colourful streamers and ribbons.
Goa Carnival Celebrations
Goa Carnival is the most awaited event in Goa, preparations for which start from December itself. Other than music, dance and other entertainment, the carnival in Goa also features short plays depicting the tradition and culture of Goa in a unique way.
Pre-Lent carnivals are a time for fun and Goa's carnival is revelry all the way. It's the last big bash before the season of Lent starts, and this is when Goa parties for five days, non-stop.
The festival will kick start on the 8th of February with a Food and Cultural festival with cooking competition being the main feature of the day. The opening ceremony with be held on the 9th of February.
The Goa Carnival, true to form, is a time for unrestrained merrymaking with fashion, dancing, processions, music performed by both local and national level artists and unlimited food, with more than 70 stalls providing food and beverages, being part and parcel of the festivities.
Momo, the legendary King of Chaos leads his entourage of fire- eaters, acrobats, clowns, jesters, dancers, brass bands and revellers in parade down the main street of Panaji, Goa. King Momo commands his people to 'kha, piye and majja kar' - eat, drink and make merry and so be it!
Goa Carnival 2016 Tickets
Since Goa Carnival is an open event and everybody is invited to join in the fun and frolic of the carnival there are no tickets for it. So just pack your bags and get ready to have a great time at the carnival in Goa.
Tips for Goa Carnival
It is advised to book your hotel and travel tickets well in advance as Goa Carnival attracts huge number of tourists from all over the world. Click here for Goa Hotel Packages.
Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes as the carnival involves lots of street activities.
Other Carnivals Around the World
A Carnival where people from around the world flocked to Venice in Italy to party in Venetian style with their dazzling masks and vibrant costumes.
The Cologne city turns into frenzy with the carnival and the biggest party on earth begins here in Cologne, Germany which carries on for six days.
The Mardi Gras at Rio, Brazil is the Greatest Street Show in the World. Rio Carnaval explodes in spontaneous combustion with unrestrained passion and infectious joie de vivre.