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Best time to go to Goa

Goa Carnival 2023

Experience this fascinating and colorful event in Goa


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The Goa Carnival has over 500 years of history and dates back to the times when Goa was a Portugese colony. This event is unique to Goa and is celebrated only here. Check out amazing parades full of colorful costumes, lots of music, beautiful floats, and attractive dances. Huge street celebrations are organized all over the state. Evenings and nights are for non-stop parties. All these festivities are usually held in February or March, before Lent. This is one of the most anticipated events for local people.

During the Carnival, you can see lots of traditional things: Goan art, short plays, Goan culture, food, music, etc. The final day of the festivities is the most spectacular. Try not to miss the famous red-and-black dance held by the Clube Nacional in Panjim. Altogether, these celebrations are about eating, drinking, and having fun. 'Kha, piye, and majja kar'—says the legendary King of Chaos, Momo, to lead the crowd. Fire-eaters, acrobats, clowns, jesters, dancers, brass bands, and others follow him during the parade down the main street of Panaji.

Over the years, many of the age-old traditions have been retained and can be experienced by attendees. For example, the Goa Carnival is used by many young hearts to exchange their love and admiration towards each other. Tradition has it that restaurants and other eateries have to prepare their best fish and meat dishes on the days of Carnival. As the people of Goa use this event to clean their kitchens, everyone dines out. The eateries are open all night during the Carnival. In the olden times, people attending the Carnival would smear each other with eggs, fruits, flour, etc. The tradition has now been replaced with various colours. All attendees nowadays cover each other with tonnes of colour—this is a holy celebration Goanese style!

Besides Panaji, other major cities in Goa host carnival parades too. Namely, Mapusa, Vasco, and Margao have parades on separate nights.

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