If you think monsoon is the worst season to make a trip to Goa? Think again. Here’s an insight to 5 grand festivals held in Goa during the rains. It will definitely make you think of visiting Goa this monsoon.
1.San Joao, 24 June
Do you need a reason to get wet? Here is a great excuse. It is the Festival of St. John the Baptist (San Joao), who baptised Jesus in the river Jordan to bless him. On this auspicious day, people all over Goa dressed in colourful attire jump into wells, ponds and streams. Women wear crowns of leaves, flowers and fresh fruits, distributing pleasantries and food. It is the most famous Christian feast in the state. North Goa is the place to be to enjoy this festival. It is celebrated with great vibrancy, fervour and gusto, particularly in Siolim, Anjuna, Candolim, Calangute and Assagao. So why not make a trip to Goa during the monsoon.
2.Sangodd, 29 June
A festival celebrated very keenly by Goa’s fishing community; it marks the feasts of Saints Peter and Paul. After morning prayers, the fishermen begin to celebrate. They bind a couple or more boats together to create a platform to support miniature models of churches and chapels. They are then carried along the course of various canals. A bamboo pole with an image of St. Peter attached to it is also erected on the makeshift float. “Viva St. Pedro!” many people cheer and chant by colourfully attired fishermen.
3.Chikal Kalo, End of July
If you loved mud fights as a kid and you secretly wish to rewind the clock for that very reason, then the Chikal Kalo festival is tailor-made for you! The literal translation is play in the mud. The beating of drums, bells and cymbals echo as the participants indulge in all sorts of mud games, ensuring each one is thoroughly bathed in mud by the end of it. The festival concludes with the customary breaking of a suspended ‘dahi-ka-handi’ by a human pyramid.
4.Patolleanchem Feast, 15 August
All sweet-tooth’s, Goa awaits you this season! Apart from Independence Day. The fest is famous for its mouth-watering patolleo—a sweet dish made primarily out of rice, coconut and jaggery, it continues to be a rage amongst the locals. The feast is organised to commemorate the assumption of Mother Mary to Heaven. Visit the festival for the sweet Goan delicacy and also use the opportunity to check out the local handicrafts of the regions which are on display throughout the day.
5.Bonderam, 3rd or 4th Saturday in August
The Portuguese attempts to control the conflict never succeeded completely as the flags they would use to demarcate the divided territory were knocked down quite frequently, an act the festival makes light of. The festival takes place on the island of Divar, which is 12 km from the capital city of Panjim. The parade is marked by enthusiastic crowds sporting brightly coloured costumes and blaring music. The bamboo stem toys which the participants use in the fight are called ‘fotashes’ and although this is viewed as an elaborate mockery, the villages leave no stone unturned at outdoing each other while parading their floats through the crowd of onlookers.
Now that you are well informed. Pack up your bags and book your ticket to Goa this monsoon!