Goa Carnival is held every year in February (6-9th in 2016) and is a four day celebration including music, dance, theatrical performances and many other forms of entertainment. We’ve create a quick guide to Goa Carnival for you, so you know what to expect, where to stay and more.
First of all, let’s give you a bit of background. Goa was once a colony of the Portuguese Empire, a Christian country, and the Goa Carnival was developed from a traditional annual festival held before Lent. Lent was a time of giving up luxuries and frivolities, so people would indulge as much as they could beforehand with celebrations. These celebrations were introduced by the Portuguese almost 500 years ago and there have been similar celebrations held around the world for centuries (in fact they still are!).
Over the years the combinations of Goan and Portuguese culture have infiltrated the Goa Carnival to make it what it is today. This highly anticipated event begins with preparations in the form of parties, from December. The entire state comes out in force for these celebrations and everywhere you look there will be brightly coloured decorations adorning every tree, building and sculpture.
The celebrations extend beyond the usual partying and dancing, there are many artistic performances including theatrical displays, acrobatics, fire eaters, dancers, musical bands and more. Our favourite part is the food! There is so much food to choose from in restaurants and best of all in the street stalls. There’s so much love for food there that the festival actually kicks off with a Food and Cultural Event on the 8th of February with the opening ceremony following on the 9th.
If you really want to get involved in the spirit of carnival then why not participate in the Red and Black Dance; dressed in costumes (all red and black) you can dance around with partners or friends to say farewell to the end of carnival.
Most of the celebrations of the Goa Carnival take place around Panjim, Margao and Vasco da Gama and the events are ticket-free, so you can just head down and enjoy the party! Take a look at flight and hotel options in Goa, by selecting the link below.
Since Goa Carnival is an open event and everybody is invited to join in the fun and enjoyment Goa Carnival there are no tickets for it (but there is a ₹100 charge for the Red and Black Dance). So just pack your bags and get ready to have a great time at the carnival in Goa.