Four-day carnival festivities begin in Goa

Carnival celebrations in Goa. Photo: Shutterstock Images

Panaji: Issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and protection of the environment figured prominently in the traditional Carnival float parade held in Panaji on Saturday. The four-day festivities were opened by 'King Momo', the mascot of the parade who issued the decree of `Eat, Drink and Be Merry' to the state's residents.

The parade began near the Mandovi bridge in Panaji and travelled through the D B Bandodkar road alongside the river before culminating at Kala Academy. Thousands of revellers thronged the route to see the parade which lasted for over three hours on Saturday evening.

Floats carrying 'save environment' message were the highlight of the parade. Some floats had messages about COVID-19. The parade was accompanied by traditional dances, performances and other cultural activities.

The Goa Police's float sought to create awareness about the drug menace. The state tourism department had organized the float parade in Panaji. The parade would be held in Margao on Sunday.

Goa is super fun during the annual carnival days. Cities like Panaji and Vasco Da Gama deck up completely during this time, and the air is filled with the crackling energy of festivity and celebrations.

King Momo waiving to the crowd at the procession during Goa Carnival. Photo: Shutterstock Images

The Portuguese introduced the Carnival to Goa in the 18th century and it is still celebrated in Goa with all its Portuguese charm and flavour. In the pre-Christian era, it was believed that the winter spirits had to be driven out to allow the summer spirits to come in - a transition from darkness to light of sorts. The Carnival has since been celebrated to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

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