A mayor wearing a festive red shirt addresses the city by saying “party till 12 midnight!” in a country where they have a 10 a clock curfew, Goa is vibrantly different and special.
Streets filled with masked revellers, floating stages with social messages, and live music and dancing till late night, Carnival is a wonderful time to be in Goa.
Carnival is celebrated a few days before Ash Wednesday, and before the beginning of Lent. Lent is traditionally a period of abstinence, and carnival is supposed to be the one large big bold festivitity before this. Its hugely popular amongst portugeses speaking nations, with Brazil and Portugal at the fore front of the festivities. Goa is the only place in India that celebrates Carnival, making it all the more special.
Here are a few glimpses of CARNIVAL 2014.
|The whole of Panjim was dressed in party special attire. Street lamps wore masks, the island in the middle of the road had elaborate designs, and masks hung from trees. Just driving down the streets made one happy.|
|colourful masks in bright neon colours were the show stoppers of the celebrations. kudos to the craftsmen!!|
|King Momo and his party subjects. King Momo is the official head of the Carnival revelry and he declares the Carnival open, and Flags off the Party mood.|
|With Carnival in Goa, can liquor be far behind? Brands of wines and whiskies and vodkas and Rum vied for attention at the Merces Food and Wine festival. Special offers and surprise gifts were up for grabs as you enjoyed your favourite tipple.|
|Celebrating the Carnival spirit with the KING OF GOOD TIMES!!! and while you enjoyed, enjoy responsibly, there were dustins every few meters, and even though thousands were present at the grounds, the ground itself was litter free.|
|Live counters of cooking at the Merces Carnival Food and wine festival, were like a 4 D entertainment show, as we watched our dinner being cooked, the sound of sizzling meat and smell of barbequed meat filled the air.|
|Artistic wooden barrels, were set up as tables, which showed the care and keenness of detailing that had gone into putting up this fun festival.|
|The star attraction a spanish flamenco singer, dressed in a Sari Gown, which is a western gown inspired by the drape of a Sari, belted out R D burman songs as well as her famous song Senorita from zindagi na milegi Dobara.|
|Restaurant style street food, served on disposable plates. Here is your opportunity to try out the best that Goa has to offfer in terms of cuisine. And if you love the food, you can always check out the restaurants later. A great way of marketing your food. here is a typical barbeque night fare, corn on the cob,onion rings,potato fries,cheese on toast and texan chicken.|
Sand sculpture on the miramar beach depicting Alice in Wonderland as part of the Carnival festivities.
Musiic has always been part of indian festivities, but unlike the bollywood masala songs being played at most ganesh chaturthi pandals in Maharashtra and loud stereo music in almost all places in India, Goa does things in style. Live bands with extremely talented people played on all 4 nights at various locations in the state. You could stand at a street corner and see a live band perform. Another special feature was the latin american songs being sung as opposed to bollywood music. Spanish songs by the live band performed just outside a place where portugese passports are available is a fitting tribute to the previous occupants of Goa. Goa was under portugese rule up till 1961 and Carnival is heavily if not wholly influenced by this past relation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_India
balloons and families enjoying a wholesome and fun outing along with children. Many people believe that carnival is filled with Carnal activities and is not the best time to visit with children, but in Goa, it is an extremely enjoyable activity, where children enjoyed watching the floats, taking part in mask making contests and having fun!
international dancers, dance to the tunes of Indian music. Russian girls in lehengas danced to Kajrare in a true bollywood style. Indowestern fusion entertainment.
The Goa tourism did a commendable job of maintaining a festival of international quality entertainment as well as keeping both tourists and locals happy. Large masks and murals adorned the streets of Panjim, on the day that the floats went by, there were streamers and balloons, people littering the streets with banners and masks, but overnight the municipality cleaning brigade cleaned all the remnants of the reveleries and removed the hoardings, and by next day it was business as usual. I had dropped my napkin while trying to balance my tray of food and drink, a person from the organizing committee was quick to sweep down on the wayward napkin to keep the place completely litter-less. there was waste segregation at source with plastics, metals, food in separate waste baskets, even while maintaining a happy carnival atmosphere. Just goes to show that Goa takes it's entertaining and tourism seriously. Viva Goa!!