If your vacation plans are still open, don’t even look beyond Goa at this time of the year. The festivals unfold thick and fast, with many of them lasting several days. Come, celebrate Goa!
Even as the weather gets cooler, the excitement and vibe around Goa gets hotter December and January push the tourist season into overdrive. Over the next few months, there’s so much to see and do Perhaps the only complaint can be that there’s too little time to take it all in. But fret not! This little piece lays out a useful roadmap on how you can make the most of your Goan sojourn around the high point of its tourist season.
A Saintly Journey
Goa in December is special. The Christmassy feel is in the air right through the month. But, a few weeks before Christmas – December 3rd, precisely – the state celebrates the feast of St. Francis Xavier While his missionary zeal took him further afield to Japan and Borneo, he is so strongly associated with Goa that his mortal remains and relics lie ceremoniously in a silver casket in the Church of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. Devotees and tourists from all over India and the world throng to venerate the casket that holds the Saint’s miraculously incorruptible body.
Countdown to Fun
The week bridging Christmas, on 25th December, and New Year is one endless party. The entire state is illuminated by the festivities. Parties happen everywhere, with endless music, dancing, feasting and bonhomie. New Year’s Eve parties are the headiest, as revellers groove under the night sky, finally greeted by an astounding sunrise perfectly symbolising a new beginning!
Festivities Without End
The Christmas season is officially brought to closure by the Feast of Three Kings on January 6th However, celebrated as it is over a period of ten days, the festivities go on, albeit taking a different twist This unique event unfolds at Cansaulim, Chandor and Verim where a jovial crowd from all over the state congregates, and eventually meets at the chapel of Our Lady of Remedies The symbolism of the Three Kings is followed by a jaunty fete and much revelry.
Let There be Kites!
Two years ago, the International Kite Festival came to Goa. It’s been such a popular attraction that it has now been added to the tourism calendar. Hosted at Colva and Miramar beaches in the second week of January, it has attracted participation from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The spectacular sight of kites of different shapes, sizes, dimensions and colours dotting the sky is something not to be missed.