The Goa Carnival celebrations have been a big deal in our home state for hundreds of years. Introduced by the Portuguese some 500 years ago, it is a festival that attracts people from all walks of life and every religion. Goa Carnival celebrations precede the Lenten season. It’s the last few days where every one of the Catholic faith can enjoy and make merry, before practising abstinence and fasting from meat and other indulgences. And it’s a big tourist attraction or used to be in earlier years. People still come from all over for the Goa Carnival celebrations but things have changed in recent times due to various extenuating circumstances. There are still some Carnival traditions that are followed. Check them our here.
Goa Carnival celebrations 2018
This year, the Goa Carnival celebrations will begin with the parade as it always does. 2018’s Carnival King Momo is a gentleman from South Goa named Bruno Azaredo.
Traditionally, in the days of the Portuguese, the parade used to take place in the Panjim church square. Granted, it was a time when there were fewer people and vehicles so that made it a convenient route. In more recent years, the floats started from a different venue, this being from under the Mandovi bridges in Patto and ending at the Campal garden.
However, in lieu of the fact that there is major bridge work going on in the Patto area, authorities have decided to shift the parade to the Miramar-Dona Paula main road after having marathon discussions over the past year. Therefore the parade will begin near the Goa Science Centre and end near the Caranzalem Park.
The total number of floats and dance troupes are yet to be decided and will be done by this week. The panel of judges has already been decided. The Tourism Department has decided to increase the prize money for the 2018 Carnival float parade competition in all categories to see greater participation. This year there is an emphasis on presentation of Goan culture and tradition.
What does this mean for the Goa Carnival celebrations?
According to the Herald newspaper, this move has evoked mixed reactions.
While some residents in the city are happy about the change in the parade route, the same can’t be said for others. There are claims that the same will result in inconveniencing people.
“We would love to see the traditional route for Carnival float parade but haphazard parking of vehicles and throwing of wastes even in the residential areas, have been a nuisance all these years. The shifting of the route will bring relief to the residents at these two aspects,” Ana, a Campal resident said.
Other residents have also hailed the decision claiming the heritage precinct of Campal will be saved from the mess. Similarly, Norah Fernandes said it would not result in overcrowding of the area.
There were also some people that felt the original route was the best one. “Being in the heart of the city, people have an option to enter into any eatery outlets, restaurants and even find a place to park vehicles. Not all get their four-wheelers to watch the parade. Those coming from closer places get their two-wheelers and park it at a convenient place, but a shifting of the venue could pose a problem for the people,” local resident Siddhi Pai said.
The Goa Carnival celebrations are scheduled to take place from the 10th to the 13th of February (both days are included).
Information credit – OHeraldo Goa newspaper