Public Holidays, Festivals, and Events:

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Happenings And Events In The Calendar Year

JANUARY

  • Feast Of Three Kings (Cansaulim) – A popular feast in the Salcette region but is more noteworthy in Cansaulim and Chandor. Also known as the feast of the epiphany or raianchem fest is celebrated on January 06, 2014. An annual traditional dance post the religious function forms part of the celebrations.
  • Republic Day – January 26th:  The day the constitution of India came into effect. A public holiday marked with military parades and ceremonies across India and more prominently in New Delhi where the Grand Republic Parade takes place and is broadcasted live on national television.

FEBRUARY

One most happening month in the calendar year as it is sandwiched in between the Christmas celebrations and the Lenten season. This month witnesses heaps of fun time with feasts, weddings, parties, dances, concerts, exhibitions and festivals galore.  For more on happenings in this month it would be advisable to check the local newspapers.

  • Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria at Pomburpa:  This feast is held on the 2nd of February every year. Some of the age-old traditions can be still witnessed at Pomburpa on the feast day.
  • The Grape Escapade:  An annual event is held in this month at the Inox courtyard. The 2014 episode was hailed as the best ever in terms of attendance, economics, and activities. Over 50000 people took part in this event experiencing a blend of fine wine, lifestyle, haute cuisine and entertainment over the four-day festival.
  • Carnaval Food & Cultural Festival:   starts on 28th February, 2014 at Panjim.  Merry making and celebrations that began from December last year onwards is not to end so soon. It’s time for the Goa Carnaval 2014. This four-day extravaganza of fun, frolic, amusement and festivity promises to keep up the zeal and zest among its people . The carnival-associated fun and entertainment every year covers the entire state and the festivities include a parade of colorful floats and troupes of masked revelers attired in gorgeous costumes singing and dancing to lively music. The carnival parade is held in each important city of Goa starting with Panaji then Margao followed by Mapusa and Vasco.

MARCH

  • Shigmotsav (Shigmo) of Holi – mid-March. Vibrant parade of float each depicting and enacting hindu gods and goddesess in their triumph over evil characterized by colourful costumes, mesmerizing dance sequences, and vibrants and melodic sounds of local musical instruments.
  • The Lenten Season:  The Lenten season which starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday is in the month of March. A couple of days before Easter Sunday is Good Friday. Good Friday marks the crucification and death of our Lord . This day is a Holiday in Goa. Easter day marks the end of the Lenten season and the resuurretion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1st Sunday after Easter – Feast of Jesus at Siridao
  • Procession of the Saints – A popular religious event which takes place at Goa Velha in late March or early April/the fifth Monday during the Lenten season. A procession where 30 different decade-old statues of saints are paraded in the village streets when the procession culminates at the Church.

APRIL

 

  • Feast of Our Lady of Miracles:  An annual mid-April popular religious event that takes place 16 days after Easter. This feast is more popular in Mapusa.

MAY

The month of May is the most happening time of the year with tourist hubs like Calangute and Colva packed with people chockablock and parties happening in almost every nook and corner of the state.

  • Beach Bonanza – mid-May, with food stalls, entertainment festivals and general partying around Goa’s main beach towns and resorts.
  • Igitun Chalne – mid-May, one of the most notable events in Goa, this fire-walking festival is based at the Sirigao Temple in the Bicholim region.

This is that time of the year the mercury rises to its peak. It is the hottest time of the year.

JUNE

The month of June marks the beginning of the monsoon season, end of school holidays, temporary closure of the tourist season, and outdoor entertainment.

  • Feast of St. Anthony:  June 13th, a state-wide event celebrating the feast of St. Anthony of Padua another popular saint in Goa. It also simultaneously celebrate the arrival of the monsoon. As per traditions and beliefs if the rains have not yet started, a statue of St. Anthony is lowered into a deep well
  • Sao Joao Festival– June 24th, taking place all over Goa and involving celebrations of newlyweds, particularly around the bridegroom and his new in-laws, who welcome him into their home
  • Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul – June 29th, monsoon-based celebrations by Goa’s local fishing community

JULY

  • Naag Panchami – mid-July, Hindu festival, with large numbers of snake charmers

AUGUST

  • 24 August – Festival of Novidades.
  • Independence Day – August 15th, national holiday in Goa and throughout India.
  • Bonderam Festival:  This distinct festival of Goa is held in late August, in the picturesque island of Divar, some 12 km / 7 miles from Panjim. Bonderam means the festival of flags. A colourful processions makes it way through the scenic village streets that is witnessed by people who throng the island on that day.
  • Feast of St. Lawrence:  The feast is held in late August. The feast is more accentuated in the village of Agassaim through the village fairs, get togethers, tiatrs, and a traditional dance on that day.

SEPTEMBER

  • Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganesh Festival):  The most popular Hindu Festival celebrated with pomp and gaiety in early September, lasting ten days and involving the exchanging of gifts, whilst celebrating this famous elephant-headed god also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’
  • Navratri (Festival of Nine Nights) – This festival is mainly held in late September. This includes fasting, praying, and folk dancing with special sticks, known as ‘dandiya raas’

OCTOBER

  • Fama de Menino Jesus:  A popular feast where believers from all religious denominations come to venerate the miraculous statue of Infant Jesus. So popular is the occasion that all the roads leading to Colva are jam packed, the queues of devotees waiting to kiss the statue of Infant Jesus stretches for kilometers requiring a huge battery of police personnel and machinery. The feast is held in the second Monday of October.
  • Dussehra (Durga Puja)  This prominent hindu feast is held in early October.
  • Narkasura another event which involves the parading and enactment of the dramatic scene between God Krishna and the the rakshahs Ravan is unique to Goa and draws a lot of people both locals and tourists. This culminates in the the burning effigies of Ravan. The next morning is the festival of lights and victory.
  • Diwali (Deepavali) -The festival of lights or Deepavali celebrates the victory of good over evil. This festival is held in October / November, with night-time illuminations, fireworks and decorations, lasting around five days.

NOVEMBER

  • 3rd Wednesday of November – Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in Navelim Goa.
  • Tiatr Festival:  Traditional Konkani dramas popularly known as tiatrs in Goa are staged during this festival. A much sought after event in the Calendar year held in the middle of November at the Kala Academy, Panaji Goa.

DECEMBER

The month of December is a month of celebrations and happening.  The celebration of two important events, that is Christmas and the feast of Saint Francis Xavier.

  • St. Francis Day / Feast of St. Francis Xavier.  Its as if the month of December starts with blessings. The feast of the patron saint of Goa is celebrated on December 3rd, religious celebrations based around the tomb St. Francis Xavier, at the Church of Bom Jesus.   This year is a once-in-a-five year occasion  for venerating the relics of the saint in close proximity which is otherwise placed at a far height and is expected to draw huge crowds.
  • Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception:  Held a few days after the feast of St. Francis Xavier on December 8th. A popular feast for the Goans in light of their love and devotion to the Mother of God. This feast is more visibly accentuated in its grandeur in the cities of Panaji and Margao with a big fair and church services.
  • Christmas:  Christmas celebrations in Goa mean so many things. It is a time when family and friend bonds are strengthened. It is a time when a NRG would take extra measures of effort to be with his/her family. The celebration are marked by a plethora of activities and events related to religion, traditions, and entertainment.

 

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