Best time to go to Goa

Goa Carnival 2024

Experience this fascinating and colorful event in Goa

Dates: February 10–13, 2024

Goa Carnival
Goa Carnival
Panaji
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The Goa Carnival has over 500 years of history, dating back to the times when Goa was a Portuguese colony. This event is unique to Goa and is celebrated only here. As a visitor, you are welcome to 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. All these festivities are usually held in February or March, before Lent. Overall, the Goa Carnival is one of the most anticipated events for the locals.

What to expect

During the Carnival, you can see lots of traditional things: Goan art, short plays, food, music, you name it. 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.

Traditions

The residents of Goa have managed to retain most of their age-old traditions . 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 colors. Nowadays, attendees cover each other with tonnes of color—this is a holy celebration Goanese style!

Tips

Besides Panaji, carnival parades are hosted in other major Goanese cities. Namely, Mapusa, Vasco, and Margao have parades on separate nights. So, check which city suits you best and book your housing in Goa in advance.

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin