The Goa Carnival:The exuberant Goa Carnival is the most famous annual feature of Goa which has been celebrated since the 18th century. Held in mid- February, just before Lent, the three day event is a time for feasting and drinking with lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars and graceful dances. The great finale is with the famous Red-and-Black dance held by the Clube Nacional in Panaji.
A big number of tourists are attracted to the Carnival every year which was originated as hedonistic feasts of ancient Rome and Greece. It made its appearance in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies with the king Momo ordering his subjects to have a feast. The highlight of the exotic frenzy of merriment is the appointment and arrival of King Momo and his retinue to the capital city Panaji on Fat Saturday, the eve of Carnival. Only of its kind in India, Goa is the ideal place for such exuberance in celebration.
The Shigmo:This is the same festival celebrated as Holi in various parts of the country. The festival, as farewell to winter and welcoming the spring, is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of March and is essentially a festival of the masses. The Goans shun from eating non-vegetarian food. From the 11th Moon day to the 15th moon day, various village groups clad in their most colorful dresses set out with festive mood with multi-colored cloths, torans, flags and column-like red spotted flags, beating drums and blowing flutes to gather at the village temples, and dance in the temple court yard singing various folk songs to the beat of the drums.
The Shigmo parade held in Panaji is a spectacular display of Goan Hindu ethnicity and culture. Attired in traditional costumes, various folk groups consisting of women and men dancers give vibrant performances of various dances. The Shigmo parade ends with the artistically designed and beautifully lit up floats. The last day is called as the Vasant Panchami or the Rang Panchami when people play with colours, which is also known as the Holi.
Then there are other festivals such as the Sea Food festival and the Konkan fruit Festival held annually in Goa. These festivals too draw a large crowd from all around the world.