Festivals and Events in Goa

Goa is a lively holiday destination that welcomes all visitors for fun-filled holidays. With a clearly defined tourist season, you would think that there’s nothing to do in Goa for the rest of the year. But Goa does have its festivals, which are some of the most significant events in Goa. There’s a plethora of religious and cultural festivals celebrated in Goa throughout the year.

Though you will come across some familiar names, festivals in Goa take on a different colour of celebration. The serene countryside comes alive with festivities as most festivals are celebrated as community events. Any Goa festival is a celebration of togetherness. And you will be heartily welcomed to join in. Here are some festivals you can try and catch on your next Goa trip to the land of fun under the sun.

Holi is celebrated as a part of Shimgo in Goa. This festival of colours is celebrated in Goa in its own unique way with great pomp and fanfare. The celebrations go on for a good 14 days. Revellers take to the streets in colourful traditional costumes as a parade of floats makes its way across the city. These floats tell stories from the regional mythology and are a sight to behold.

It is easy to lose yourself in the passion and fervour that earmarks this Goa festival. Like all events in Goa, this is an occasion to celebrate the rich culture and spirit of this wonderful destination.

This Goa festival honouring St John the Baptist is celebrated in a unique way. On the festival day, the young men jump into rivers, wells, lakes and any other water bodies in order to retrieve the gifts thrown in by the villagers. Held in June every year just around the beginning of monsoon, it is a celebration of water.

Though it is celebrated throughout Goa, the celebrations are much more colourful and louder in the North. The village of Siolim hosts an annual boat race. Attend one of these races and be a part of the passion. You can feel the anticipation as it builds up to a crescendo that explodes as soon as the winner crosses the finish line.

Goa is the last place where you’d expect to attend a film festival. But the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has called Goa its home since 2004. Held in November every year, IFFI celebrates and honours off-beat cinema from across the world. You can catch some of the best regional and international vernacular movies at this film festival.

Goa rolls out the red carpet for the Indian and international celebrities who attend this festival. It is one of the most premier events in Goa. Not only will you be treated to some of the best films, but you can also catch the celebrities as they walk the red carpet. You can register yourself on IFFI’s website for your participation.

After films, Goa celebrate its arts and literature with the Goa Arts & Literature Festival in December. For 4 days Goa turns into an art gallery as there a number of art exhibitions, talks, panel discussions and book launches. You could catch a glimpse of your favourite author or even get a chance to interact with one of the legends of the literary or the art world.

Attend one of the workshops for an enlightening insight into art or simply explore the art exhibitions to buy your very first piece of art. If you’re lucky enough, you can get it signed by the artist themselves. If art exhibitions don’t interest you, catch one of the music or dance performances that showcase local as well as international talent. If you’re in the city in December, make sure you attend at least one of these artistic events in Goa.

Christmas is a wonderful time to be in Goa. The cool December air is alive with the aromas of scented candles and freshly baked traditional Christmas cakes. Add to that the mouth-watering aroma of piping hot food and the Christmas celebrations start even before you’ve had your first bite of cake.

The locals attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve and venture out singing carols. You can join the locals in singing carols as they herald the birth of baby Jesus. All the churches around Goa are lit up brilliantly as they display their creativity through the recreations of the nativity scenes. Locals partake of traditional meals with their families, while you could enjoy some lip-smacking food at restaurants around Goa.

Apart from these, the biggest Goa festival is the new year. Parties continue through the night as revellers ring in the new year. You too can be a part of these festivities. Choose your Goa holiday package from SOTC and pack your bags for a holiday filled with celebrations.

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