Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring time in Goa : Shigmotsav

Spring or Phagun according to Indian calendar is a month of Intense celebration in India.

Food and festivities is a heady mix, and one which I have revisited time and again, be it Chitirai Thiruvizha in Madurai, or Durga Pujo in Kolkata, but when it comes to Goa, the festivals are so unique that they deserve entire blog posts.

I have written three posts on Carnival celebrations in the state, and two posts on Diwali celebrations DIWALI IN GOA with Narkasur, and now another well kept secret of the state, Shigmotsav.
Shigmo, is a rural festival previously celebrated only in the villages of Goa, but when the Carnival celebrations gained popularity in the state, with the Government backing it as a tourist attraction, the Hindus in the state demanded equal awareness about the Shigmo festival and thus started the festivities in the cities aswell.

Shigmotsav, the festival celebrating Phagun weather in Goa

Starting on the day before Holi, pretty much like the Holika Dahan across the country, Shigmotsav also begins in similar fashion in the villages of Goa, especially the ones in the extreme south like Canacona, because this was the seat of the Hindu community in Goa, especially during the time of the Portuguese colonisation. Ponda is another Hindu heartland and Shigmo festivities are close to the residents of the area, but by now the festivities are seen across the state.

But as a tourist /traveller to Goa what can you expect?
Fancy dress processions with Indian Mythology , larger than life grand floats depicting Indian mythology, and an elaborate and beautifully in sync parade with drummers, and dancers. The parades happen in every city and town of Goa, and start from the saturday after Holi and continue till Gudi Padwa. from Phagun to Chaitra month this turn of season festival is a profusion of colours. 
The best part is the parades, where you can introduce your children to Indian Mythology in a fun interactive manner, be it selfies with Vishnu and Yamaraj, or a larger than life floating Hanuman procession in search of sanjeevani.

Holi celebrations at Grand Hyatt Goa

colours of spring, gulalotsav

I like my pinks , yellows and oranges as candy floss

Shigmo means taking selfies with Lord Vishnu on the streets

Insta stories of what we ate while enjoying the floats in Shigmo

getting his balcony seat to the show, enjoying shigmotsav on Daddy's shoulder and eating popcorn
Food ofcourse is never far from our celebrations, candyfloss, chocolate icecream and popcorn were part of our Shigmo parade munchies, and fafda Jalebi and Thandai were part of the Holi celebrations, followed by Puranpoli and shrikhand on Gudi Padwa.

our festivities are always interspersed with food, be it Popcorn and icecream during the night float parade of Shigmo or the Holi celebrations with Jalebi and Thandai.

Thandai served in Clay pots, at a 5 star beach resort in Goa, Holi celebrations done in style at Grand Hyatt Goa

the ghode modni is by far my favourite part of the procession during Shigmo

getting to be part of the processions and interacting with the participants was a real treat. tip to attending the festivities, head to the start of the procession, where the crowds are thin, and the participants are al geared up and raring to start their procession.

My husband's name is Pawan, and Lord Hanuman is also called the 'son of Pawan' , here is the father with two of his son's , both figurative and real :)

Just as Lord Hanuman took off on his flight to gather sanjeevani, we got another cute father son, family pic

and me thumsuping while Ravana sets off on his rampages, to be fair, I do think he was a misunderstood man, and really a romantic at heart. The mythology is after all open to interpretation.

a car filled with masks and costumes

This is my favourite picture from the festivities. well , after the picture with Vishnu ofcourse

and then we went and got ourselves a selfie with Yamaraj.Note the skull necklace.

Here it is my favourite picture !
Balam pichkari; my son's pichkari acted as food styling props for holi

the perfect blend of sweet and savoury, jalebi and fafdaa.

The sweet beginning to the New year with Puranpoli and shrikhand.
I hope the pictures have enticed you to come join in next years Shigmo festivities, and immerse yourself in a truly Indian experience. In a country where Agriculture and Mythology are an intrinsic part of life Shigmo is a celebration of both.

here are some of my other festival and food related posts

Durga Pujo Bhog

Durga Pujo as a Kid

Carnival in Goa

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