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Festive frenzy

india Updated: Mar 17, 2013 16:06 IST
Collin Rodrigues

Though Goa’s Carnival parade, which takes place annually in February, is quite popular, few among us are aware of Shigmo, the local way of celebrating Holi. But the Goa government plans to change that. Nikhil Desai, managing director, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, says, “This year, Shigmo is slated to be bigger and better. There will be attractive decorations, lively parades, excellent food, music and revelry at multiple venues across the state.”

Starting March 28, the festival will be celebrated for 14 days in the beach state. The Shigmo parade will consist of traditional folk and street dancers and elaborately-built floats depicting regional mythology. There will be a thanksgiving ceremonial dance and procession called Romat, which comprises brass bands. It will be followed by troupes of Kunbi folk dancers. This dance is performed by tribal women dressed in gold and brightly-coloured saris.Traditionally, temple yatras, as they are called, are held all across the state. Dancers march with huge banners, ceremonial umbrellas, festooned sticks and batons towards the temple of the presiding deity. Larger-than-life mechanical figures that represent important Hindu Gods and Goddesses are also be on show.

The people participating in the cavalcade perform the Rommatame and Fugdi dances. Rangpanchami is celebrated on the fifth day of Shigmo. Unlike in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, where people burn the Holika, in Goa locals only play with colour. By celebrating the festival in a bigger way, the government of Goa aims to attract more tourists to the state. Adds Desai, “Shigmo is a must-visit event for tourists. We are focusing on festival and cultural tourism and it definitely is high on our must-do list. It will
definitely appeal to the average Mumbaikars as they are not very different from the average Goan. They love to dance, unwind and enjoy themselves and that is what Shigmo has
to offer.”

Catch the Parade here
March 28: Ponda
March 29: Pernem
March 30: Panjim
March 31: Mapusa
April 1: Vasco
April 2: Bicholim
April 3: Sanquelim
April 4: Valpoi
April 5: Curchorem
April 6: Sanguem
April 7: Margao
April 8: Quepem
April 9: Cuncolim
April 10: Canacona