Goa Carnival: Here's all you need to know about this one-of-a-kind annual event!

Goa Carnival: Here's all you need to know about this one-of-a-kind annual event!

This year, the carnival parade will be organised in Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa from February 26 to March 1

The only state in India to hold this celebration, Goa has been organising this carnival for decades. A cultural and religious gala, the carnival in Goa attract many tourists, however, not many of us know much about its history. As Goa begins to celebrate, here is all you need to know about this one-of-a-kind annual cultural celebration!

The history of festivities

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As per the Catholic faith, three days preceding Lent (February) are celebrated with music, fun, drinks and dance after a period of mourning, fasting and abstinence for 40 days. This vibrant festival is a celebration that is followed by Catholics, however, with time, it has become more of a cultural event that attracts people of all faith alike.

According to the tradition, the flagship parade is led by the Mascot King Momo who kick starts the celebrations by reading a decree, asking people to make merry. With float parades, music, dance, food and much more, this festival is a live representation of the colourful and vibrant Goan culture. A competition is held between floats wherein those who register are judged on the basis of concept, costume, performance, music and visual effects.

Every year, the state tourism department invites applications for King Momo. Derived from the Greek god of satire-Momus, King Momo is pegged to be the king of carnivals. Fun-loving Goans who wish to play the role of this character can apply for the same. This year, South Goa's Emilio Dias has been chosen as King Momo.

Carnival in line with the Model Code of Conduct & COVID protocols

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Notably, the Goa Department of Tourism manages the entire carnival celebrations across the state while the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) also plays a key role as well. In line with the Model Code of Conduct that is currently effective across Goa in view of the Assembly Election 2022, floats with political themes will not be permitted to partake in the parade this year.

This year, the floating parade will be carried out in Panaji on February 26 and move to Margao on February 27. On February 28, the floating parade will move to Vasco whereas Mapusa will hold the parade on the final day, which is March 1.

Additionally, this year a separate zone for stray dog adoption and a dedicated culinary zone for local food entrepreneurs have been set up at Jardin Garcia de Orta which is converted into Samba Square this year. The Samba Square and the promenade by Mandovi river is adorned to match the festivities. As per CCP, this year's carnival will be a Zero-Waste Carnival.

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