Last Updated on January 26, 2024 by Augustin Fernandes
Goa Carnival is among the few carnivals in Asia and the only carnival celebration in India. It’s a colorful celebration before the lent season.
Goa Carnival is a biggest tourist draw to attracts thousands of tourists every year from across India and rest of the world.
History of Carnival in Goa
Goa Carnival are based on the Catholic tradition having origins in ancient Rome.
The Goa Carnival is a pre-Lenten celebration that has been celebrated since the 18th century. The occasion was initially celebrated by Catholic Catholics and was about Portuguese traditions.
After the end of Portuguese era, the festival was reviewed by Goan musician, Timoteo Fernandes in 1965.
The parade includes floats from local villages, commercial entities, and cultural groups.
The Parade is still organised in a very traditional manner, including by the staging of street side.
Also local plays are organised in the coastal of Salcet taluka.
5 Reasons why you must visit the Goa Carnival
1. The Only Carnival Celebration in India
The only carnival celebration in India is the Goa Carnival. It is a colorful and vibrant celebration before the onset of Lent.
The carnival is usually celebrated during the months of either February or March before the onset of Lent. Goa Carnival goes for four days and nights finishing on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent. Lent characterizes fasting or abstinence from meat for the 40 days before Easter and is a significant event for Catholics.
The carnival is famous for its colorful processions and vibrant energy.
Although it is technically a Catholic celebration, Goa Carnival has been mixed with local Goan culture and many Hindu traditions. The carnival attracts thousands of tourists from all over India and around the world.
2. Entry is Free
Tickets to visit Goa Carnival are not needed, entry is free for all!
Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations. The procession is free to watch and most of the fun and excitement happens out on the streets.
3. Portuguese History
The Portuguese ruled Goa until 1961, and under their rule, the Carnival was introduced.
Goa embraced this Portuguese cultural tradition and it continues to be celebrated with great enthusiasm till date
4. Most exciting time of the year
The Goa Carnival is the most exciting time of the year to witness Goa’s true spirit. People register to participate in the parade way ahead of time.
Event calendars are marked well in advance, and suddenly Goa seems the most populated during this season.
The state bursts with tourists that really is a cultural potpourri of travelers from right across the globe and India.
5. A Travelling Feast
While Panjim remains the most popular city to witness the Goa carnival, this cultural extravaganza travels to four other prominent cities across Goa – Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda.
So, everyone gets their share of Carnival fun.
Goa Carnival 2024 Date and Venue
Goa Carnival begin on Saturday on 10th February 2024 and finishes on Tuesday which is 13th of February 2024.
The carnival is celebrated in four prominent locations throughout Goa, namely Panjim, Mapusa, Margao, and Vasco
10-Feb-24 at Panjim
11-Feb-24 at margao
12-Feb-24 at Vasco-da-Gama
13-Feb-24 at Mapusa
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Things to keep in mind while planning a short trip to Goa Carnival
1. Book your accommodation and transportation in advance
Carnival in Goa is a popular event, so it’s best to book your accommodation and transportation well in advance.
Booking your accommodation and transportation in advance for the Goa Carnival is highly recommended.
The carnival is a popular event that attracts thousands of tourists from all over India and around the world.
Most hotels are fully booked with hordes of Charter tourists from Europe during the carnival time, so it’s best to book your accommodation and transportation well in advance.
2. Pack light
Because the carnival is a street event, you’ll be on your feet for the majority of the time. Pack lightweight clothing and shoes that allow you to move freely.
3. Be Prepared For The Heat
Goa can get quite hot during the day, so be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
4. Expect Long Traffic Jams
The entire Goa is in a celebratory mood during the carnival, so expect long traffic jams. If you’re planning to explore multiple carnival venues, start early in the day ³.
If you’re planning to attend the carnival, you can book your hotel and flight tickets in advance. The carnival is a favorite national event and is a big tourist draw, attracting thousands from all over India and around the world.