February is Carnival time in Goa. For three days (from February 13-16), the streets will be awash with colour, noise, parades and floats.
The Carnival in Goa had its birth during the era of King Momo, who ushered it in just before Lent — 40 days of prayer and fasting just before Easter. While the starting day of Carnival varies across the world, the festival in Goa kicks off three days before Lent and ends on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before Ash Wednesday (February 17 this year), which marks the beginning of Lent.
In the name of the king
The appearance of King Momo — someone who is dressed like him — during the Carnival often marks the beginning of the festivities. Surrounded by a bevy of beauties, the King reads out a proclamation which declares him to be the monarch for the next three days and allows his people to have fun and enjoyment during this time.
The big Carnival parades are held in four cities — Panjim, Margao, Mapusa and Vasco. Besides the parades, also look out for the various dances organised at local clubs in most cities.
Book your tickets now
The Goa Carnival, much like carnivals celebrated around the world, creates a different universe. Much like the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, you’ll find revellers dressed to the nines, dancing their way into the wee hours of the morning. The famous hand-painted leather or papier-mâché masks of the Brazilian carnival turn into the feathery half masks on Goan lanes.
So go and make your resort or shack bookings immediately. Don’t miss it for the world.