5 Wonderful Carnivals to Visit in Goa (2022)
As soon as one hears the name of Goa, the mind is automatically clouded with images of serene beaches, crazy parties, unlimited liquor, crowded casinos, and modernity. However, we will like to tell you that this tropical paradise is not just limited to being the party capital of India. The state of Goa is in every sense a complete package of fun with its numerous cultures, diverse religions, colorful traditions, and rich heritage.
With a harmonious mix of people of different cultures, the state of Goa celebrates an exceptional combination of folk music, dance, and a plethora of exciting festivals. Talking about the true lifestyle of a local inhabitant of Goa, singing, and dancing is an important part of their life. The entire state of Goa throbs on the peppy beats of merriment, especially during the time of festivals of special occasions. If you are a cultural person and wish to be a part of the rich and colorful festivities of Goa, then you have arrived at the right link. In this article, we have shortlisted some of the top carnivals to visit in Goa for you.
5 Wonderful Carnivals to Visit in Goa
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1. Goa Carnival:
This is probably one of the hottest and most popular festivals of Goa. With its plethora of happening events, this carnival is the epitome of celebration in the state. Lasting for a duration of three days and nights, the festival is a unique combination of colorful costumes, soul–stirring extravaganza, and foot–tapping music. Apart from the never-ending festivities, the best part is that the entire state is decorated beautifully with vibrant colors. A feast of food, drinks, dance, music, and happiness, this carnival of Goa is celebrated right the day before the month of Lent. The festivities are made more interesting and vibrant by taking out musical parades in the entire capital city. The evenings are reserved for gala balls where people engage in dancing and singing on the Goa streets all through the night. The float parade in Panaji is led by King Momo who takes over the city by floating a specially decorated float which declares the beginning of the fun bonanza.
- Location: Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco Da Gama
- Timings: The festival is celebrated from 13th February till 15th February.
- Fun Fact: Though the carnival has declined for the past few years, but with the efforts of Goa Tourism, the festival was not only revived back but also serves as a major attraction to tourists from all over the country.
- Highlight: Fancy musical parades, grand prize distribution ceremony, sawdust fight.
2. Grape Escapade:
Boasting of being the biggest wine festival in the entire country, this is not only one of the most popular but also a unique festival of Goa. The festival is well–known for its crazy celebrations and witnesses wine connoisseurs from all over the world who visit the state just to savor the delectable flavors of some of the best wines and grapes from India and even abroad. This popular gourmet is not just popular for its wide range of wine but also for its unique cultural extravaganza. Some of the festivities you can expect visiting this famous carnival of Goa are culinary delights, exciting fashion shows, lots of peppy beats, dance, and a lot more. All in all, this festival with its worldwide charm will make sure to make you happy.
- Location: Panjim
- Timings: The festival is celebrated for 4 to 5 days in the month of January.
- Fun Fact: In this fun festival of Goa, you not only get to test some decade–old wines but also get to enjoy many other fun-filled festivities which are specially organized for the entertainment of the visitors.
- Highlight: The traditional grape stomping or wine stomping, an exclusive wine tasting session and the Grape Escapade Queen contest are the main attractions of the festival.
3. Feast of Francis Saint Xavier:
This is one of the renowned festivals of Goa which is celebrated to honor the death of Saint Xavier who is well–known by the local people of the state as ‘Goencho Saib’ or the Lord of Goa. He was a tremendous Catholic missionary who preached about the Christianity religion and the Gospel of Jesus to the people of Goa. If the legends are to be believed, a group of Portuguese merchants performed his last rites and buried him in a coffin partly filled with unslaked lime. When after a few months, a member of the Society of Jesus exhumed the body, he was surprised to see that Saint Xavier’s corpse hadn’t decomposed at all. Moreover, blood oozed out when he cut a finger off the corpse. After this discovery, Francis Xavier was conferred with the title of Saint and his mortal remains were placed in a silver casket in the Church of Bom Jesus. Since then, after every ten years, Saint Xavier’s body was brought on the anniversary of his death. People from all over the country came to visit the church to worship the saint.
- Location: Basilica of Bom Jesus
- Timings: This religious festival of Goa is celebrated for a duration of nine days. The festivities start on December 3.
- Fun fact: During the celebrations, enormous arrangements of food and drinks are made for the public, and the beautiful park located right outside the church turns into a wonderful picnic spot filled with various people indulging in fun activities.
- Highlight: The silver casket in which the remains of the saint are kept. Also, during this festival, the church services begin early from 4 AM.
4. Goa Food and Cultural Festival:
Are you a foodie? Do you love Goan curries or Goan fish and chips? If yes, then you would be pleased to know that despite being the smallest state of India, Goa boasts of offering a rich legacy of culture, heritage, and culinary. The state is well – known for its diverse talents and the Food and Cultural Festival of Goa is just organized to celebrate this very fact. This festival is nothing short of a paradise for food lovers. It is organized for a duration of 5 days and becomes a platform for experienced as well as young and skilled chefs to show off their culinary talents to a huge crowd that includes people from all over the world. Apart from all the delicacies, you will also be pleased to know that the mood is lightened with good music. Talented musicians from all over the country come to perform at this festival of Goa in front of an international audience.
- Location: Beaches of Goa, mainly in Panjim
- Timings: The celebrations of the festivals take place in the month of February or April.
- Fun fact: No matter whether a homemaker or a high-profile chef of a 5 – star hotel, the very talented and skilled chef can take part in this festival to exhibit their culinary art.
- Highlight: The display of various dishes and the delectable Goan delicacies including the fish curry, rice, barbecues, oriental cuisines, pasta, and sweet desserts are the major attractions of this fiesta.
5. Sunburn Festival:
Are you a true music lover? Do you love visiting peppy concerts with a trance ambiance? If your answer is yes, then Sunburn festival is the top carnival to visit in Goa for you. This is one of Asia’s biggest premier electronic dance and music events that takes place in Goa. You can basically understand the Sunburn festival to be a confluence of the synergy of music, good food, superb entertainment, a rich lifestyle, and expansive shopping that attracts a huge bunch of music lovers from all over the country to the state of Goa. In fact, the Sunburn festival serves as one of the most popular festivals of Goa and boasts of an international audience as well. Being a part of this hyped and rocking Sunburn festival, dancing away the night on peppy beats will be an exceptional experience for every music lover.
- Location: Calangute beach, Goa
- Timings: This festival is organized for a duration of three days in the month of December.
- Fun fact: Sunburn festival of Goa is the largest music festival in the entire continent of Asia and hence witnesses a collection of music lovers from all over the world.
- Highlights: The festival is popular for its live performances from the top stars of the industry, meeting the artists, and the rocking EDM music.
A milieu of culture and festivities, being a part of the top carnivals in Goa is going to be a unique and memorable experience. A wide range of travelers visits Goa every year for its wide range of festivals.
FAQ’s For Tourists Visiting Goa
Q1. How Long Should One Stay In Goa?
Ans. The staying duration varies from one person to another but usually, people prefer spending at least 3 days in the state.
Q2. What Is The History Of The Goa Carnival?
Ans. This amazing festival was introduced to the state of Goa by the Portuguese colonial rule in the 18th century. Initially, the carnival was celebrated with a touch of Portuguese culture but after independence, the festival is celebrated in a typical Goanese style.
Q3. What Are The Popular Languages Spoken In Goa?
Ans. While Konkani is the official language of the state, but English, Hindi, Marathi, and Portuguese are also spoken commonly here.