“Goa a place of colour, freedom, beach, and Carnaval” .
The Goa Carnival is one of the most awaited event in Goa. It is unique to Goa and offers 4 days of fun and frolic with various events, float parades and dances happening throughout the state. The Goa Carnival has a history which goes back several hundred years. It was started by the Portuguese when Goa was ruled by the Portuguese. The origins of carnival are apparently the hedonistic feasts of ancient Rome and Greece. It made its appearance in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, where it metamorphosed into the very Latin singing-dancing-drinking bouts. The carnival is presided over by King Momo, who on the opening day orders his subjects to party. Keeping the history intact, the allies of Goa, is decorated with lights and colourful banners, huge masks and the whole city sports a fun mood. The Carnival 2014 was spread across Panjim, Margao, Vasco, Curchorem, Shiroda and Mapusa. The date for the Carnival was 28th Feb to 4th March , 2014.
Leading a colourful float procession along a three-km route on the city’s main street, King Momo, mythical king of carnival 2014, commanded “Eat, drink and be Merry”. The pre-lent festivities of fun, music, dance and frolic in Goa, is what all Goans and tourist look for each year. The colourfully decorated float of the State Tourism drove along with the cheerful King Momo atop waving to the crowds, the revellers greeted him with chants of “Viva Carnaval”.
Before the parade on the first day, there was the Food and Culture festival alongside the Carnival which was purely meant for people to hog on various delicacies like scrumptious seafood, skewerd kebabs, grills, etc.
Since the festival was open to all and it had humongous sparking space, the crowd just flocked in from various parts of country. The central arena was reserved for various stalls of food , along with diversity of options in feni, wine, etc. The sinful red colour and the air filled with aromatic smell of food, made even vegetarians think on trying to be carnivores for this festival.
There were various food stalls which depict various cuisine from different parts of Goa. There was seafood, feni and pungent Goan sausages and vegetarians might be little unhappy as less options were for them, but there was Arabic and chat which vegetarians flocked at.
The festival and carnival was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, Deputy Chief Minister Francisco D’Souza .
The enormous stage kept the crowd entertained with various salsa dance performances, contests where the prizes where from the stall, and the night was even more thrilling when India’s best music performances would adorn the atmosphere with live band and music.
The main attraction for the carnival is the various types of floats during the four-day non-stop extravaganza for carnival. The float parade has various floats done by fun-loving Goans which showcase the fun side and the traditions of Goa.The Carnival revellers who had gathered in large numbers enjoyed the remarkable parade, which had nearly colourful 60 colourful floats in all different locations.
Each float either had social messages like environmental safety, cleanliness, to avoid child labour, and there were also some floats such as “to put your vote only for non-corrupt candidates” and some floats were there for the fun element of carnival which definitely reminded the all-time favourite Rio Carnaval.
Along with the parade in Panjim, the parade was also conducted in various places in Goa like 2nd March, 2014 – Margao, 2nd March, 2014 – Ponda, 3rd March, 2014 – Vasco, 3rd March, 2014 – Curchorem, 3rd March, 2014 – Shiroda and 4th March, 2014 – Mapusa.
After the morning parades, each celebrator for the carnival could relax by the food and wine selection at the Food and Culture show along with the lined-up entertainment each night of various live performances. Acrobat dancers Darryl and Raquel not only made each one wish to get up from their comfortable seats and try some salsa moves, but also the expression of triumph came along with each show.
The heading act by Agnee – the band famous for deep-rooted Indian band music with famous hits like Sadho Re, Kabira, the Splitsvilla Theme Song and the Roadies Theme Song. The followed night was Latin Dance Performance named by “floor fillers”. The night was more musical with “Bollywood music” by the singer maestro, Kunal Ganjawala. For the people who not only love eating, there was even “Magson’s Chef-de-Goa Cooking Contest” where the theme of contest was to cook “Authentic Goan Cuisine” . The winner would bag a great hamper from Magson.
Day 2 & Day 3 had latin dance performances called ” floor fillers” – the main heading act was with Kunal Ganjawala where the Bollywood music made the crowd dance around for long 3 hours , the live band “Alcatraz” filled the air with sounds derived from the instruments, African acrobats made each audience wonder about their moves, and the day 3 ended with a great act by Rabbi Shergil.
Goa Carnival fills the entire Goa with festive mood, and completely makes the term “ to be a feasting-drinking-merrymaking” just before the austere 40 days of Lent true.