Organisers of this year's Goa Carnival have allocated 1,000 seats to senior citizens for watching the parade during the five-day Iberian-inspired fiesta here.
"The seats will be at vantage points from where the parade can be seen. Senior citizens too have a right to enjoy the carnival," Sanjit Rodrigues, commissioner of the Corporation of the City of Panaji, told reporters here Friday, a day before the parades hit the city's D.B. Marg.
The tickets range from Rs. 250-350, depending on whether senior citizens want to sit in the area adjoining the city's oldest hotel Mandovi, or the picturesque ferry wharf.
In the past only VIP guests and the media had seats allocated to them, while hundreds of thousands of others had to line up along the barricaded road to watch the colourful floats pass by.
The Goa Carnival is a celebration of the state's Portuguese legacy. It is celebrated in a big way in countries once ruled by the Iberians - either Portuguese or Spanish - and to some extent in regions ruled by the French who celebrate Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), a similarly inspired festival.
For the week prior to the austere Christian season of Lent, Goa celebrates by having 'one last shot at having fun' before the liquor bottles and beef and pork is stacked away as part of a 40-day period of religious penitence.
Along with Christmas and Ganesh Chaturthi, it is one of the biggest festivals in the state, which was ruled by the Portuguese for over 450 years.