Festivals in KonkanEdit This
Goa is where you should be to experience the uniqueness and color of Konkan Festivals.
Goa has its own version of the carnival in Rio. Goans eagerly await this 3-day event which they prepare for 3 months in advance. You’ll see people dressed in wonderful Rio Carnival-like costumes and elaborate headgear. The Goa Carnival is a major tourist attraction, a Portuguese legacy and is unique in India.
There’s music, dance, drama, masked revelers, fortune tellers, fireworks and wild partying. The floats are fabulous. In the plays about Goan history, men enact all the roles, even female ones. Originally, the carnival wasn’t much fun unless you were the person throwing eggs, flour, oranges, mud and dirty water at passers by.
Today people smear each other with color instead. If you can attend just one of the Konkan Festivals, this should be the one.
Konkan Fruit Festival
This unusual fruit festival lasts for 3 days in May and is held at in Panjim, Goa, at the Campal heritage precincts. A huge variety of fruits are displayed, including 35 mango varieties from Goa and many others from across the country such as the famous Alphonso mango and some excellent mangoes from Patna in Bihar state.
The fruit festival is not just about the display and sale of fruit. There are mango eating competitions, watermelon carving contests, a fancy dress competition that requires participants to dress like fruits, music performances and a seminar. The old Goan markets are recreated with vendors selling fruits from the Konkan belt. It’s the most delicious of Konkan Festivals.
February or March
This is pre-Holi festival celebrated by villagers in Goa to bid farewell to winter and welcome spring. A colorful procession bearing deities on floats starts from the temples in the evening. The parade winds through the streets of Panjim to the sound of drums, flutes and folk songs. It comes to a halt only in the early hours of the morning.
During this fortnight, people abstain from non-vegetarian food and alcohol, and throw red powder at each other, heralding the colors of Holi.
Cultural programs are held in the various villages. At this time, you can see the dances of Maharashtra such as the Kunbi and thrill to the daring antics of fire eaters from Kerala.
Goa Heritage Festival
The heritage of Goa is on show during this 2-day annual festival held in Campal, Panjim. Artists perform ethnic dances and artisans showcase their craft. There are open forums and discussions.
The Fontainhas Festival of Arts
This 4-day festival is also celebrated in Panjim, the capital of Goa. It is a treat for lovers of music, sculpture, painting and puppetry.