Goa Carnival is known by several names, including Carnaval, Intruz, Viva Carnival, and Entrada. Although substantially less famous and smaller than its worldwide equivalents, the carnivals of Rio and Portugal, this thrilling celebration celebrated in Goa, cannot fail to capture the attention of both tourists and residents.
The Goa Carnival attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly, especially after its resurrection in 1965 due to its great ambience and feel.
It is proper to state that the Goa Carnival is a legacy of Portuguese control. It has evolved from a relatively modest event to a full-fledged thrilling celebration. The atmosphere is alive with stunning parades, musical events, delectable foods, and other festivities.
Goa Carnival Location
The Goa Carnival 2023 will be held at four different places around Goa. They are Panaji, Vasco, Mapusa, and Margao.
Goa Carnival Dates
The dates for the Goa Carnival 2023 are February 18 to February 21, 2023.
How to reach the Goa Carnival?
Are you enthusiastic enough to take part in the Goa Carnival 2023? Because Goa Carnival is held in four different locations in Goa, let’s figure out how to get to all four of them.
How to reach Goa?
By Air: Dabolim International Airport is Goa‘s only major international airport. Dabolim International Airport is the primary hub for local and international flights.
Goa has two major railway stations, Margao and Vasco-da-Gama, which are located in the state’s southern region and are well-connected to various essential cities in India.
National roads such as NH4A, NH17, and NH17A connect Goa to the rest of the country. These highways link Goa to other important Indian cities such as Mumbai, Mangalore, Belgaum, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, and Chennai.
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How to reach Panaji
From Dabolim Airport – It will take around 50 minutes or so by taxi (approximately 28 km) to reach Panaji from Dabolim Airport.
From Madgaon Railway Station: Exit the station and go 200 km to Cross Road on foot. Take a bus to Madgaon bus station, from whence you may take a bus to Panaji.
From Vasco-da-Gama Railway Station: Take a bus to Panaji, which will take around 34 minutes.
How to reach Vasco
From Dabolim Airport – Take Mangor Airport Road for approximately 11 minutes to reach Vasco from Dabolim Airport. If you travel by automobile, you can take a cab or drive yourself.
From Madgaon Railway Station – There is a direct day train from Madgaon to Vasco (32 km approx.).
Vasco-da-Gama Railway Station – It takes around 4 minutes (1.2 kilometres) to reach Vasco from the railway station through Swatantra Path and Fl Gomes Road.
How to reach Mapusa
From Dabolim Airport – Mapusa is around 40 km from Dabolim Airport. Taxis are available outside the airport to transport you to Mapusa.
From Madgaon Railway Station: Take a bus to Mapusa from the railway station. The distance between Madgaon and Mapusa is approximately 48 km. It will take around 1 hour and 19 minutes to reach the place via NH66.
From the Vasco-da-Gama Railway Station– Take a bus to Mapusa. It is around 40 km from the railway station.
How to reach Margao
From Dabolim Airport, you can take a railway or a cab (28 kilometres) to Mapusa.
From Madgaon Railway Station, walk 3.5 to 4 kilometres (50 minutes) to Margao, take a bus from the rear of the station, or rent a rickshaw or cab to Margao.
From the Vasco-da-Gama Railway Station, take a 35-minute train to Margao or a 50-minute bus ride covering 33 km approx.
History of the Goa Carnival
The origins of this Carnival can be traced back to the advent of Roman Catholic customs and the Portuguese invasion of Goa. Some think this event has been going on since the 18th century and has only gotten more significant and better. In 1965, after the end of Portuguese authority in Goa, a man called Timoteo Fernandes revived this celebration.
Goa Carnival is an annual festival that celebrates Goa’s culture and food on a big scale, based on the Christian custom of Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Wednesday), which relates to the events of the carnival celebrations.
Originating from the custom of Mardi Gras, a tradition of extravagant feasts, dancing & drinking bouts preceding the fasting and abstinence connected with the penitential season of Lent, Goa Carnival is a four-day extravaganza celebrated throughout the whole state with tremendous passion and excitement.
According to the local Goa Carnival custom, the entire state of Goa is taken over by a fictitious character named King Momo, who was a resident and controlled Goa for the duration of the celebration. The message that the nature of King Momo seeks to preach is “Kha, piye aani maza kar”, which translates into eat, drink and make merry. During the festival, the entire city of Goa comes to life, and everyone wishing to have a good time should attend this Carnival.
How is the Goa Carnival celebrated?
A flurry of visitor activities characterises Carnival de Goa. Tourists spend the entire day dining, partying, and drinking. The massive parades that pass through the various avenues of Goa irritate the joyful atmosphere even more. Live bands and dancers accompany these parades. The majority of the streets have excellent lighting and magnificent balls.
The Goa Carnival 2023 celebrations include:
- Dance troupes
- Revellers donning masks and costumes
- Exciting music – usually played live
- Sports contests
- Floats and parades
- Indulgent hobbies like excellent eating and drinking
1. Customs and traditions
One of the most entertaining aspects of Goa Carnival is the custom of the Assoltes, actors in the carnival’s sardonic people plays, dressing up in costume and pranking their fellow actors and actresses. When they figure out they’ve been pranked, they have to treat the actors to a meal and drinks in the house. People in Goa hurl their cooking equipment out the window.
It is a well-known custom to perform while the procession passes by. Nobody is injured! Cleaning dwellings before Easter is an ancient Christian custom. During Goa Carnival, as at Holi, people play with bright colours and engage in lighthearted battles. Previously, eggs, colours, and flour were utilised, but colour powders have substituted them
The event’s parade, headed by a fictional monarch named King Momo, kicks off on Saturday night. The procession, which features balloons, floats, bullock carts, and horse carriages, is an enormous favourite with locals and tourists. In addition, the live music performances are accompanied by the energetic performances of dancers, jesters, and firebreathers.
3. Exhibitions of Art and Culture
The spirit of the Goa Carnival is one of celebration and good times. Additionally, you can take in some cultural performances and exhibits.
4. Food at the Carnival
Goan hotels and restaurants go to great lengths to produce mouthwatering seafood and meat during the Goa Carnival Festival. Indian cuisine will be available for those at the carnival who want to indulge in savoury aromas and exotic tastes.
5. The Red and Black Dance
The Red and Black Dance is a particular dance performed at the Goa Carnival. This dance performance takes place before Fat Tuesday, the final day of the feast before the onset of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Men wear red shirts and black slacks, and women wear red tops and black skirts. They get their groove on to the sounds of the enormous bands.
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The most remarkable thing about Goa is that the fun and celebrations that begin in February continue until the commemoration of the Goa Carnival or the pre-Mardi Gras madness. This practice dates back to 1510 when the Portuguese arrived in Goa. So make plans to visit Goa this year and be a part of the legendary Goa Carnival 2023. Go GOA!!