- Fairs and Festivals in Goa

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There is a lot more than just the wonderful golden beaches lined up with swaying palm trees, the sparkling blue strip of ocean that runs parallel to the yellow sands and the colorful friendly people , that adds to the vibrancy called ‘Goa'.

Bonderam Festival
The Bonderam Festival is celebrated in Goa in the memory of the protests that were made by the local villagers against the unjust and unreasonable system they adopted to settle land disputes and ownership issues of land. There is a history behind the Bonderam Festival. There were often some disputes and fights between the villagers on the Divar Island over the ownership of lands.

Divar Island, the charming and quiet island in Goa comes alive with the festive spirit during the Bonderam Festival. There is a carnival ambience that is created with the melody of the music reaching even the mainland of Old Goa. Flocks of people come to take part in the carnival and rejoice in the celebrations of the Festival of Bonderam in Goa.There is a float for each section of the villages, that are decorated in colors and colorfully clad youngsters who take part in the parade, presenting a pretty picture.

Christmas
Christmas is a festival that is celebrated all over the global with a lot of enthusiasm and joy, cutting across the barriers of religion. But there is a special charm in the Christmas in Goa that sets it apart from celebrations of Christmas anywhere else in India. Being predominated mainly by the Christians, Goa, during this time comes alive in a kaleidoscope of colors and revelry.

During Christmas in Goa, all the streets are lit up and the market places are all decorated with tinsel and buntings. There are Christmas trees shining and glittering in every corner of the streets and inside the houses. All the houses and churches are brightly lit up and decorated. Celebrations start from Christmas Eve when the beautiful harmony and melody of the Christmas carols fill up the pleasant ambiance of Goa and brings the festive mood. The wonderful smell of baking cakes and the songs of the church bells fills up the air that is already vibrant and colorful with the celebrations of the Goa Christmas.

Feast of Three Kings
The Feast of Three Kings in Goa is celebrated as an ode to the ‘Our Lady of The Mount’, a statue of Virgin Mary with infant Jesus in her hand, considered to be the protector of the people. On this day, the Lady of the Mount is adorned with jewelry and people from all over climb up to her to seek her blessings. The Festival of the Three Kings is celebrated after 12 days of Christmas to commemorate the visit of the three wise men to infant Jesus. The legend says that the boulder on the nearby hills still bears the footprints of Virgin Mary and the baby, where she supposedly rested before reaching the Hill of Remedies. Many state that the site of the Chapel of Remedios which stands there now was once a Hindu Temple site. Every year during this time, there are hundreds of Christian as well as Hindu devotees who make the annual pilgrimage to the Mount to offer prayers to Madonna.

Goa Carnival
Goa is synonymous to fun and frolic. The sunken beaches, the cosmopolitan culture and the unending room for entertainment make Goa a perfect holiday destination. Though it experiences a high tourist footfall throughout the year but the best time to visit Goa is during the time of Goa Carnival. The festival is a sheer of extravaganza of fun and frolic activities. This festival has a magnetic affect as it draws tourists from far off corners of the globe. In fact, the unique appeal of Goa makes it an integral part of India travel. This festival is also a great event to get a vivid look of the culture of Goa.Goa Carnival features a frenzy of tourist activities. Tourists indulge in feasting, merrymaking, drinking through out the day. The festive mood is even more aggravated by the huge parades that move the various streets of Goa. These parades are accompanied by bands and dances. Goa forgets to sleep during the carnival as these parades continue through out the night. Most of the streets are decorated with attractive lighting and grand balls.

Liberation Day
Goa Liberation day holds great significance in the history of Goa. It signifies the day when Goa was released of Portuguese dominance by assistance from the Indian Navy. The liberation helped the people of Goa to relieve themselves from the exploitative rules of the Portuguese. The liberation also made the independence of India complete as after the British left India, Goa was the only part that remained under the British rule.The day is celebrated with a lot of fanfare in Goa. The celebration features a torch light procession that takes off from three various locations of Goa. The three processions ultimately meet at the Azad Maidan. At this place, the participants of the procession pay their tribute to the martyrs. Cultural programs like Sugam Sangeet are also organized to celebrate the day

Mardi Grass
Lent is the period of time from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday which is a span of forty days. These forty days symbolize the forty days spent by Moses and Elijah roaming in the wild, the forty days and nights of continuous rain by God during Noah’s time, forty years of wandering by the Jews in search of land and the forty days of fasting by Jesus. There are a number of Pre Lenten festivals that are celebrated by the Christians all over the globe. The most famous of such festivals is the Mardi Grass (Mardi Gras) Festival, or Fat Tuesday. The Mardi Grass Festival is celebrated in Goa mainly three days before Lent commences.The Mardi Gras Festival is celebrated in Goa with a lot of enthusiasm. There are guests arranged and carnivals that take place before the 40 day fasting take place.The Mardi Grass Festival take place comes together with a lot of music, good food, dance, colors and a lot of festivities.

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