Goa Events and Festivals

(Goa, India)




Picture of Hindu Siolim TempleThe state of Goa enjoys its many festivals, featuring a series of public holidays, religious Hindu celebrations and even Christian events, such as Easter and Christmas. When visiting Goa, try to time your holiday with one of its biggest festivals, when you will find plenty of things to do, see and enjoy.

Goa's Feast of St. Francis Xavier is especially popular and takes place each year at the beginning of December, while for something a little different, the Beach Bonanza is a true highlight and based around the region's many coastal resorts. The main festivals in Goa are described here, month by month.


Goa Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Feast Of Three Kings (Local Festival) - January 6th, held in Old Goa, and known for its hilltop celebrations, which include drums, trumpets and rejoicing. Also known as 'Epiphany Day', with re-enactments at various churches, with the three kings offering their gifts to Christ
  • Feast of the Novena - mid-January, a chance to enjoy plenty of local dishes and specialities
  • Republic Day - January 26th, national holiday in Goa and all around India, with military parades and ceremonies

February


  • Pop, Beat and Jazz Music Festival - mid-February, a host of concerts take place at various venues around Goa's capital Panaji

March


  • Shigmotsav (Shigmo) of Holi - mid-March, a farewell to the winter months, heralding the official start of spring, including costumed parades and Goan drumming at its best
  • Sabado Gordo - mid-March, carnival festivities with a procession of decorated floats, street partying and various events, held on the Saturday before Lent
  • Good Friday / Easter - late March / early April, a particularly important time for Goan Catholics, who observe lent and other religious Easter celebrations, including Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
  • Procession of the Saints - late March / early April, the fifth Monday during Lent, with 30 different statues and parades around the streets of Old Goa

April


  • Goa Carnival - mid-April, held shortly after Easter, three-solid days of partying, with colourful processions and an exciting atmosphere, celebrating the arrival of spring
  • Feast of Our Lady of Miracles - mid-April, feast day for both Hindus and Christians, taking place 16 days after Easter

May


  • Beach Bonanza - mid-May, with food stalls, entertainment festivals and general partying around Goa's main beach towns and resorts
  • Igitun Chalne - mid-May, one of the most notable events in Goa, this fire-walking festival is based at the Sirigao Temple in the Bicholim region

June


  • Feast of St. Anthony - June 13th, state-wide events celebrate the arrival of the monsoon. If the rains have not yet started, a statue of St. Anthony is lowered into a deep well
  • Sao Joao Festival - June 24th, taking place all over Goa and involving celebrations of newlyweds, particularly around the bridegroom and his new in-laws, who welcome him into their home
  • Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul - June 29th, monsoon-based celebrations by Goa's local fishing community

July


  • Naag Panchami - mid-July, Hindu festival, with large numbers of snake charmers

August


  • Independence Day - August 15th, national holiday in Goa and throughout India as a whole
  • Bonderam Festival - late August, held on the fourth Saturday in August, with celebrations based around Diver Island, some 12 km / 7 miles from Panjim, including the feast of Bonderam and mock battles
  • Feast of St. Lawrence - late August, marking the end of Goa's local monsoon season

September


  • Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganesh Festival) - early September, lasting ten days and involving the exchanging of gifts, whilst celebrating this famous elephant-headed god. Also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi'
  • Navratri (Festival of Nine Nights) - late September, Hindu celebrations, including fasting, praying, and folk dancing with special sticks, known as 'dandiya raas'

October


  • Fama de Menino Jesus - second Monday in October, major feast day in the Colva area, involving a parade with a statue of the baby Jesus
  • Dussehra (Durga Puja) - early October, major religious Hindu Festival involving the burning effigies of evil characters
  • Diwali (Deepavali) - October / November, with night-time illuminations, fireworks and decorations, lasting around five days

November


  • Goa Heritage Festival - mid-November, lasting two days, with music, dancing and plenty of food to go around, in Colva
  • Tiatr Festival - mid-November, drama arts and theatre at the Kala Academy within Campal, Goa's premier cultural centre
  • Goa Food and Cultural Festival - late November / early December, held over five-days. Expect to enjoy poetry, painting, open-air concerts, local delicacies and a chance to sample freshly prepared seafood dishes. Culminating in night-time fireworks around the coastline and partying throughout Goa
  • Konkani Drama Festival - late November / early December, programme of traditional Konkani music, dance and theatrical events, taking place at the Kala Academy

December


  • St. Francis Day / Feast of St. Francis Xavier - December 3rd, religious celebrations based around the tomb St. Francis Xavier, at the Church of Bom Jesus. This is one of Old Goa's biggest events and always a crowd puller
  • Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception - December 8th, a big fair and church service at Panaji's Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. A further fair also takes place in Margao at the same time
  • Christmas - December, Christian events around December 25th, when gifts are exchanged and family meals enjoyed







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