The word Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is supposed to be derived from flu- Latin Carnelevarium or rarnem levarem, meaning "to take away meat", which actually happens at the commencement of the 40-day penitential period of fasting in commemoration of Jesus Christ's fasting in the wilderness, known among the Christians as Lent, during which abstinence from meat is a rule. The Konknni world venture, by which it is known among the illiterate masses, comes from the Portuguese intrude, in turn coming from the Latin Latin Introitum, meaning entry into the Lenten period.
Fun and Merriment are the two main themes of Goa carnival. Roads are jam-packed and there are three days of continuous music, dance and fun in the delightfully cool February season. Goa Carnival presents different shades of Goa and people start rehearsing for the plays to be presented at the carnival since late December or early January. The musical short plays are composed by the natives of Goa and often are historical in their themes. Performed by men only, the colorful costumes and headgears of the artists surpass those worn by any primitive tribe in Asia or Africa. Colorful processions and lavish floats fill the streets for three days and four nights while participants and spectators dance with the music alike.
The Goa carnival is now a social festival bringing together the different sections of society as people dress up in combat uniform waging mock wars with potatoes or color powders. Young people mounted on trucks throw buckets of colored water at the spectators. A person is chosen to impersonate King Momo, who started the carnival, for three days and distribute prizes to various contestants for their excellent performances during the carnival in Goa. Goan carnival is indeed an experience never to forget with three days of dancing, music and extravagant fun and endless happy memories.
Origin of Goa Carnival
The funkiest festival of India, Goa Carnival is a three-day long festival. King Momo introduced Goa Carnival just before the Lent season of the Christian calendar. According to Christianity, Lent is the 40-day period of fasting and penance before the Easter Sunday meant to purify one's soul. An adaptation of the Roman carnival, this tamer version in Goa usually starts off on Fat Saturday known as 'Sabado Gordo' and concludes on Fat Tuesday known as 'Shrove Tuesday', just before Ash Wednesday that starts with the first day of the season of Lent. Yet the Carnival in Goa is a madness of sorts. A few years back, it was better known as a Christian festival and everywhere one could see Carnival floats, balls and street dances taking over the streets of Goa.
Carnival in Goa in its early days was the time when the white masters and their black saves mimicked each other as the brown natives watched them in awe. The whites masqueraded as black slaves while their slaves, generally from Mozambique, plastered their faces with flour and wore high battens or walked on stilts. In due time, the old crude mimicry evolved into a social satire. The native rural play-writers wrote theme for Khel ('playi' in Konkani) while the Portuguese Governor General, his family and retinue showered the crowds with poudre de riz and confetti and danced with anyone who wished for a dance with them.
In 1922, Dr. Jaime de Morais, the then Governor General of Goa, transformed the entire area around the 'Palacio do Hidalcao' into a 'fairy land' as he waged a mock war with the children of Panjim from the verandah of his palace using powder bombs, bags of perfumed powder, flowers and sugarplums. Balloons bobbed up in the air with multicolored trails and a colorful procession featuring horse-drawn carriages, decorated bullock carts and gorgeously bedecked floats were the highlights during the 3 days. Then Goa Carnival was not just a celebration. It was a mood and was strictly for participants as people sang and danced all nights long. The couple that fell in love during the carnival married after Easter. Today, visitors unacquainted with the Goan way of life are often stunned to see the locals singing and dancing practically non-stop for four nights and three days and drinking by the barrel without getting drunken. Revelers greet each other with a full-throated 'Viva Carnaval'.
Although introduced by the Portuguese who ruled this territory for over 50 years, from 1510 to 1961, the three-day festival primarily celebrated by Christians, has absorbed Hindu tradition-bound revelry and western dance forms, and stimulated by the artistry of the Goan genius turned into a pageantry of singular effervescence.
If down the centuries Carnaval was enjoyed only by the local population, today its fame has crossed the frontiers attracting thousands of people from all over India to whom this type of extravaganza is at once riotous and different.
The participation of the Goa Government and the Municipal Councils in it and the post-liberation introduction of the King Memo and his colourful procession have endowed Carnaval with a new dimenion and it is bound to attract more people every year to this territory whose scenic beauty and white-sanded benches have already earned Goa high praise.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM GOA CARNIVAL
This festival of three days of gay abandon, riotous revelry and merry-making now attracts to Goa thousands of tourists from all over India.
During Goa carnival, expect the air in Goa to be filled with perfume of happiness, the roads to be jam-packed with fun and the hearts of the people in Goa to be filled with nothing but enjoyment and enjoyment and enjoyment. Three days of continuous music, dance and fun. Goa is just the place to be during the February carnival.
Most of the countries have carnivals but the unique thing about the Goa carnival is that the people of Goa have inculcated different items in the carnival that makes us feel the different shades of Goa. Goans begin preparations for this grand carnival from somewhere, say late December or early January. People in Goa rehearse for the plays to be enacted during the Goa carnival. These short plays are composed by the Goans themselves and consists of music, songs and dance. The plays usually have a touch of history to it. The cast consisting of men only, perform the roles of women too. Dressed in the most colourful costumes, their headgear surpasses those worn by any primitive tribe in Asia or Africa.
On the first day, the streets of Goa are filled with colourful processions and lavish floats and this continues for three days and four nights. The tourists and Goans throng the streets either to watch the procession or to take part in it. Music rents the air and you cannot help but join the dance. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, the Goa carnival brings everyone closer and it is simply fun all around.
You will find people dressed in combat uniform waging an artificial war with potatoes or colour powders. Huge trucks filled with young people staging various tableaus or equipped with buckets of colored water throwing them at the spectators.
A person dresses up as King Momo and he presides over the carnival in Goa for three days. It is King Momo who distributes prizes to various contestants for putting in excellent performance during the carnival in Goa.
The carnival in Goa is held for three days-three days of dancing, three days of boundless music, three days of extravagant fun but the memories that you gather from the carnival of Goa is going to last a life time. The carnival in Goa is one place to be if you want to forget all the cares in the world and simply flow along in a river of happiness and fun.