Dancing in the streets, brilliantly colored floats festooned with a rainbow of flowers and feathers, masks – and of course the grand finale; the crowning of King Momo and the Red and Black ball. All this and more is part and parcel of Goa Carnival 2017.
King Momo, or the king of Chaos, is a character derived from the Greek God Momus, who is the God of satire. He is usually depicted removing a mask. Like in the many of the Latino Carnivals, the Goa Carnival also crowns a King Momo, usually a large gentleman. The court of King Momo in Goa is usually made up of fire eaters, jesters, dancers, a brass band and other revellers who make their way down the streets of Panaji whilst the King encourages people to “Kha, piye aani majja kar” i.e. “Eat, drink and make merry.
There are celebrations in villages and cities all across Goa. The parade with its floats, entertainers and dancers moves through the major cities. Festivities usually begin around 3 pm and last for about 3 hours. The celebrations culminate with the famous Red and Black Ball which is usually held at the Club National in Panaji, on the evening of the last day.
The legendary King Momo will rule over Goa for four days and will throw open Carnival revelry in the capital city on 25th February 2017. Elaborate floats, music, dancing and décor will form part of the four day Carnival extravaganza and one you will not want to miss. Float parades in the four cities: Panjim, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa will be held from February 25-28 respectively.
The season to Samba and serenade on the streets of Goa is finally round the corner. From February 25-28, 2017, Goa will come alive to celebrate the annual four day Carnival with spectacular float parades, Carnival festivities and an array of events and activities.
History of Goa Carnival
Based on the Christian tradition of Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Wednesday) which refers to the events of the carnival celebrations; Goa Carnival is a festival that celebrates the culture and cuisine of Goa on a grand scale every year.
Originating from the tradition of Mardi Gras, a tradition of hedonistic feasts and dancing & drinking bouts before the fasting and abstinence associated with penitential season of lent, Goa Carnival is a 4 day razzmatazz that is observed all through the state with great gusto and zeal.
Goa Carnival Celebrations
Goa Carnival features a frenzy of tourist activities. Tourists indulge in feasting, merrymaking, drinking throughout the day. The festive mood is even more aggravated by the huge parades that move the various streets of Goa. These parades are accompanied by live bands and dances. Goa forgets to sleep during the carnival as these parades continue throughout the night. Most of the streets are decorated with attractive lighting and grand balls.
The festivities during Goa Carnival include dancing troupes, revelers wearing masks and costumes usually, electrifying music which is generally performed live, sports competitions, floats & parades and hedonistic pursuits like great food and drinking.
Goa Carnival Dates 2017
Saturday, 25th February 2017
Grand Parade at Panjim
Parade will commence at the Santa Monica jetty at 3.30 pm, move along the river front on Dayanand Bandodkar Marg and end at Kala Academy circle.
For those who may miss the Carnival parade, can join the fun at the following places:
Sunday, 26th February 2017
Margao at 3.30pm
Monday, 27th February 2017
Vasco (South Goa, near the airport) at 3.30 pm
Curchorem (South Goa) at 3.30 pm
Shiroda (South Goa) at 3.30 pm
Tuesday, 28th February 2017
Mapusa (North Goa) at 3.30 pm
Ponda (South Goa) at 3.30 pm