Goa Carnival Celebrations take a mellow turn amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the statement of the Tourism Minister, this in the first time in several years that mellow and sombre celebrations will characterise the celebratory carnival days, instead of extravagant parades and merry-makings. All activities, events and parades will remain under the check of the COVID-19 preventive protocols and measures, dimming the exuberance of the three-day festivities in Goa.
Goa to celebrate carnival, keeping precautions in mind
The Goan govt. in a meeting with the Tourism Department and Panjim municipal corporation, has decided to lower the scale of celebrations of the parade and the carnival. As results, the number of sites that flag-off these state-sponsored parades will be cut down. As per reports, only 2 out of 6 sites, in state capital Panjim and Margao in South Goa will conduct float parades.
These parades are a representation of its varied and diverse cultural facets which are usually attended by large crowds, who indulge in the boisterous and colourful event. The state authorities have also said that the threat of coronavirus has only diminished, not subsided. Though celebrations will bring a good change from the pandemic monotony, citizens will have to equally shoulder responsibility with the state to keep the COVID spike in check.
The Mayor of Panjim in a statement also added that state will go ahead with the carnival as the people are now well-versed with the preventive protocols and are undertaking precautions themselves. A carnival won't add to the troubles if Goa celebrates the carnival responsibly. He has also appealed to the people to exercise care and caution.
What is the Goa Carnival?
The Goa Carnival is a cultural Portuguese celebration, which extends during the days preceding the Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, it is observed by Catholics as a period of mourning, fasting and abstinence for 40 days. This jovial carnival is said to represent a swig of the bottle of wine and a steak of beef, before the month of Lent kicks in.
This year Ash Wednesday will fall on February 17, marking 13th to 16th February as carnival dates. Though the celebrations here and not as extravagant as those which happen in Brazil or England, they are the sole such parades that happen in erstwhile Portuguese colonies in Asia.
The carnival is usually marked with vibrant float parades, dancing and community events, which set a spirited vibe all across this 'party capital of the country'. However, this year, the bustling and lively activities will tune to sombre notes given the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, the carnival is highlighted by the float parade lead by mascot King Momo who is the figurative guardian of the metaphorical city keys. The celebrations are pop start as he reads out a decree announcing three days of festivities.