Goa Carnival to begin in less than a month

The famous Goa Carnival will begin in less than a month!

From a small state event, the Goa Carnival has now gained national importance with the Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi himself scheduled to inaugurate the five-day Goa carnival festivities to be held across Goa, beginning February 9.

As part of the Goa Carnival, parades would be held in the cities of Panaji, Mapusa, Margao and Vasco. The Goa Carnival is a festivity witnessed by thousands of locals and tourists, who stand on the side of the road as parades spearheaded by a float of King Momo (a mythological figure symbolising chaos and fun who rules the state for three days) pass them bye.

The Goa Carnival celebrations were brought to Goa by erstwhile Portuguese rulers but have now become an integral part of Goa’s festivity calendar. Most people choose to see the parade in the capital of Panjim or Panaji, since it is the most elaborate and fancy. The Goa Carnival celebrations are rounded off by a traditional black and red dance held at the famous Clube Nacional in Pajim.

A Goan Sea Food festival, starting on February 8 will also be held on the outskirts of Panaji as part of the run up for the carnival.

Are you planning to come to Goa for the Goa Carnival ? Why ? Why not ?

Goa Carnival 2013 to be made bigger and better

Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar has announced that the Goa Tourism Ministry plans to make the Goa Carnival 2013 even bigger and better than it usually is by inviting neighbouring States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and even Gujarat to join in the parades with their floats. 

The Goa Tourism Ministry is also planning to revive the Food and Cultural Festival during the Goa Carnival 2013 by inviting neighbouring States to participate at this festival to showcase their cuisine and culture with food stalls and programmes. While Goan cuisine will dominate the food festival, it would give Goans a taste of food from the rest of India, said Minister Parulekar.

Unlike previous years, professional event management agencies will be employed by the Goa Tourism Ministry who will conceptualise and work out the themes for the Goan and neighbouring state floats.

This is the first time that the Goan Carnival will include floats and food from outside the state. In the past, the Goan Carnival only showcased the unique food and culture of Goa. While this effort by Minister Parulekar to add other neighbouring states to the Goa Carnival 2013 will certainly help visitors and tourists from these neighbouring states to feel at home in Goa during the Carnival as well as expose Goans to the cultures of other states, the question remains whether the Goan Carnival is the right place to showcase other cultures or whether the Goan Carnival should be limited to Goan food and culture alone.

What do you think ? Should the Goan Carnival 2013 include other neighbouring states as well ? Or should the Goan Carnival only showcase Goa’s unique cultural heritage ? 

Do let me know in the comments…

Photo Credit: Anoop Negi