Bihu Chhath Gangaur Goa Carnival Jagannatha Ratha Yatra Kumbh Mela
Onam Pongal Pooram Pushkar Mela Skanda Shasthi Teej
Teej Skanda Shasthi Pushkar Mela Pooram Pongal Onam
Kumbh Mela Jagannatha Ratha Yatra Goa Carnival Gangaur Chhath Bihu


All copyrights reserved

Goa Carnival
goa carnival The word carnival is derived from the Latin caro meaning 'meat' and vale, which translates to 'good-bye'. This evolved to become carnival. Some also link it to carnislevamen or 'the pleasures of meat', focusing on its enjoyment during the festivities, before the abstinence that follows during Lent. Another hypothesis suggests that the word came from carrus navalis, the horse-drawn, boat-shaped carriage that was paraded during the Roman festival Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn. It carried men and women in fancy dresses, wearing masks, and singing obscene songs. It is possible that the present-day concept of a carnival emerged from this parade.

The festivals were characterized by a total disregard for normal conventions. In the want on celebrations at banquets, slaves ate with their masters, whom they insulted and admonished. From among them, one was elected a King of Chaos. He enjoyed full rights over the concubines of his masters and gave orders that had to be obeyed. In the earliest form the rite, he was sacrificed at the end of the festivities. This signaled their turn to order. It also conveyed to the people that if there is disorder, rebellion, a confusion of roles and promiscuous behavior, an efficient administration is not possible. It stressed on the necessity to conform to the rules laid down by society.
The Goa Carnival, celebrated on the three days just before Lent, is an integral part of the Portuguese heritage of the state that was a dominion of Portugal till 1961. The carnival epitomizes fun-loving culture, characteristic to Goa. The erstwhile rulers as a rowdy celebration in which flour, eggs, oranges, lemons, mud introduced it, sand-filled gloves along with dirty water, various liquids and glue were aimed at passersby. Used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils were also thrown out of windows. Perhaps this was done to discard the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast.
Fierce battles were waged in the streets with plaster-of-Paris eggs, wax lemons, corncobs and beans. Blows with brooms and wooden spoons were dealt out liberally. It was also an occasion for unchecked eating. People gorged on rich food at lavish feasts. Even the convents distributed cakes and pastries. The carnival in Goa has retained the core of these festivities, while adapting and amalgamating it with the local culture. Though it is celebrated for only three days, the preparations start many days in advance, and buildup to a frenetic pitch by the eve of the carnival. goa carnival
goa carnival A king of Chaos called King Momo is elected. He presides over the three-day festivities, which attract visitors from all over India and abroad. Street plays, songs, dances, and impromptu farces mocking the establishments are performed before an enthusiastic, responsive audience. Floats depicting popular lullabies and nursery rhymes make a whimsical and colorful addition to the streets. Cultural functions and competitions abound in the three days of revelry. Specially selected people judge these. King Memo distributes the prizes. The contestants wear colorful costumes and elaborate masks. Amidst the outrageous dresses seen on the street are some made of sheer, transparent polythene. In the fun-filled atmosphere, people smear color on each other, instead of the flour, eggs, fruit and water thrown earlier. This could be an adaptation from the Holi festival of the Hindus. In Goan villages, however, the festivities have a more indigenous flavor.
Though celebrated by the Christian population of Goa, its only relevance to Christianity is that it is celebrated before Lent. The festival today has no religious undertones and has come to be a cultural highlight of the state, rather than of the religion.