Bonderam festival is celebrated in the state, in the month of August, in memory of the protests that were raised by scores of villagers against the unjust and unreasonable system adopted to settle down land disputes and ownership issues of land. During this festival the charming and quiet Divar Island comes alive with the fervour and exuberance and there is a carnival ambience that is created with the melody of the music reaching even the mainland of Goa.
The celebration of Christmas in Goa starts from the Christmas Eve and lingers on for sometime even after the actual date of the festival. Glittering and sparkling Christmas trees in every nook and corner of the street as well as inside the houses of the locales are found. All the altars are also brightly decorated with various sorts of creative sparks. The melodious tunes and lyrics of the Christmas carols fill up the pleasant ambience of the state.
Carnival is a four-day celebration that begins on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. The Goa Carnival is led by King Momo which has its own rhythms of guitars, folk songs and drumbeats accompanied by a colourful parade of floats and dancing troupes.
The celebration of good's victory over evil is done with much exuberance in the state of Goa. Bhaubija and New Year day are celebrated as part of the Diwali. Narakchaturdasi is called Diwali in the state of Goa. The might of Diwali in Goa is also bejewelled with millions of flickering candles and an explosion of fire works and firecrackers.
Feast of St Francis Xavier
Feast of St Francis Xavier is held on the 3rd of December at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. St Francis Xavier is the patron saint of Goa. His body has been preserved for centuries and lies in an exquisite silver casket at the Basilica and is displayed every ten years during the exposition.
Goa Heritage Festival at Fontainhas
This festival is a combined endeavour of the Corporation of the City of Panaji, the Goa Heritage Action Group and the Department of Tourism, Government of Goa. It is celebrated to preserve and promote the Fontainhas area of Goa. It is the Latin quarter of Panjim city with pretty Indo-Portuguese homes. The area is dominated by the St Sebastian Chapel. Various artists perform on stages set up in open areas, as well as displays of work of art are also organized by local artisans who use pavements and heritage homes as their galleries. The cultural heritage of the state is celebrated through this festival.
This festival is observed in the months of August/September in the honour of birthday of Lord Ganesha. The locals of Goa with fervour and enthusiasm organize the celebrations. Clay idols of Lord Ganesha are heavily decorated and it receives offerings and prayers from devotees. The end of Ganesh Chaturthi is marked by a procession leading to the immersion of the idol into the river or the sea.
Grape festival in Goa represents four days of cultural extravaganza with fashion shows, live shows and wine tasting sessions. Goa Tourism Development Corporation organizes this festival.
Monte Music Festival
This festival had its birth few years ago. It celebrates the coming together of western and Indian classical music. The venue for the festival is the chapel on the hill at Old Goa, the Capela da Nossa Senhora do Monte. It is celebrated for four days and provides a platform to a number of artists including local, national and international to display their talents.
Shigmo is a festival of colour. Several dance troupes perform intricate movements of folk dances on the road. This 'festival of colours' in the state of Goa is celebrated as Shigmotsav. This is celebrated to bid farewell to winter and to welcome the season of spring.
Sao Joao Festival
Sao Joao festival is observed all over the state of Goa on 24th of June. Sao Joao is the feast of the Baptist St John. On this auspicious occasion all the married females are presented a basket full of seasonal fruits to be taken to their homes. The newly married son-in-laws celebrate this festival in their mother in laws' place. In the villages of Goa the local youth go on a procession wearing crowns of leaves and carrying bottles of Feni and ultimately arrives at a well of pond into which they jump.
Saptah festival is celebrated in Vasco region of Goa since 100 years. This seven day festival is observed in the month of September. The festival is associated with a legend according to which once Vasco was affected by severe epidemic owing to which numerous people lost their lives. The residents of Vasco then visited Damodar temple to pray and seek divine blessings. Consequently the epidemic declined and as gratitude a coconut is placed in the temple every year which is replaced in the next year. The replacement is accompanied by elaborate rites and rituals which marks the festival of Saptah.
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Festivals of Goa