HINDU FESTIVALS IN
With the majority of
the population being Hindu, Goa has scores of festivals celebrated all
around the year. All these festivals do not occur on fixed dates of the
caldendar year, since they are based on the Hindu calendar.
the long period of Portuguese colonisation, the Hindu festivals have
retained their unique Goan character and are celebrated with deep
In Hindu mythology,
Goa is called the land of the Gods and with good reasons. There are
hundreds of Gods and Goddesses with differing names, tastes, rituals and
traditions. Most of these have remained unchaged over the centuries
while others have adapted to the changing times and circumstances.
Quite a lot of the
Goan festivals are actually Jatras (feasts) of the local or
family deity celebrated at the temple of the God or Goddess called
Devasthan. It is a festive and colourfull occassion in the temple
complex with thousands of devotees taking part in the celebrations and
the palakhi (palanquin) procession.
Other festivals like
Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are the same as those celebrated around India
but with the characterstic Goan flavour. The Goan Hindu community mainly
celebrates Ganesh Chathurti, Gudi Padwa, Diwali, Dassra (Dussehra),
Holi, Rakshabandhan, Ramnavmi and Krishnajanmashtami.
undoubtedly, is the ‘numero uno’ festival of Goa. Celebrated around
August or September, it sees the return of most Goans to their native
place of birth or their ancestral houses to join the entire family. Most
towns and cities in Goa wear a deserted look as Goans return to their
native places in the hinterland.
Diwali, the festival
of lights is celebrated all over India. Its roots go back to the time
when Lord Ram killed the demon king Ravan. Ram was welcomed in his
hometown Ayodhya by a celebration of crackers and lights. In northern
India, the festival ends when an effigy of Ravan is burnt with an arrow
But the same occasion
is celebrated a day before Diwali in Goa – and not on the last day of
Dussehra – with the burning of the effigies of Narkasur as the
demon King Ravan is called locally. All around Goa, huge effigies of
Narkasur - dressed in colourful paper clothes and armed with swords and
other armaments - are erected in the days preceding Diwali. They are
then burnt just before sunrise.
Hindu Festivals Celebrated in Goa:
Chovoth | Diwali |
Gokulashtami | Holi |
Lairai Jatra | Nagpanchami |
Gudi Padwa | Raksha
Bandhan | Ram Navmi |
Vasco Saptah |