Goa Carnival – February 17 – 20, 2007
Carnival in Goa is a non-stop 3-day festival of color, song and music, providing a healthy entertainment for all, young and old. The soothing climate, full of fun- ‘n’ -frolic, which the Carnival generates, is much longed for. It does not matter whether one enjoys or see others enjoying. There is enthusiasm and happiness all around.
Meaning Behind Carnival
The word ‘carnival’ is said to be derived from the Latin ‘Carne’, meaning meat, and ‘Vale’, which translates to ‘good-bye’. Some also link the word to ‘Carnislevamen’ or ‘the pleasures of meat’, focusing on the enjoyment of meat during the festivities, before the abstinence that follows during Lent.
Another hypothesis suggests that the word came from ‘Carrus Navalis’, the horse-drawn, boat-shaped carriage that was paraded during the Roman festival Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn. It carried men and women in fancy dresses, wearing masks, and singing obscene songs. It is possible that the present-day concept of a carnival emerged from this parade.
Origination Of The Festivity of Goa Carnival
The Goa Carnival is an integral part of the Portuguese heritage of the state, which was a dominion of Portugal till 1961. The carnival epitomizes the fun-loving culture that is characteristic of Goa. It was introduced by the erstwhile rulers as a rowdy celebration in which flour, eggs, oranges, lemons, mud, sand-filled gloves along with dirty water, various liquids and glue were aimed at passersby. Used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils were also thrown out of windows. Perhaps this was done to discard the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast.
Fierce battles were waged in the streets, with plaster-of-Paris eggs, wax lemons, corncobs and beans. Blows were dealt out liberally, with brooms and wooden spoons. It was also an occasion for unchecked eating. People gorged on rich food at lavish feasts, and convents distributed cakes and pastries. Though celebrated for only three days, the preparations for the festival would take many days, and build up to a frenetic pitch by the eve of the carnival. The carnival in Goa still retains the core of the original. A King of Chaos is elected, called King “Momo”. He presides over the three-day festivities, which attract visitors from all over India and abroad.
A Musical Extravaganza at Goa Carnival
Street Plays, songs, dances, and unrehearsed farces mocking the establishment are performed before an enthusiastic, responsive audience. Floats depicting popular lullabies and nursery rhymes make a whimsical and colorful sight on the streets. In the three days of celebrations, cultural functions and competitions abound, and are judged by specially selected people. King Momo distributes the prizes to the winners.
An enthusiastic participant dressed like a traditional Goan toddy-tapper, not seen in this fashion nowadays.
The contestants wear colorful costumes and elaborate masks. Amidst the outrageous dresses seen on the street are some made of sheer, transparent polythene. In the fun-filled ambience, people smear color on each other, instead of the flour, eggs, fruit and water that used to be used in earlier times.
Everyone’s Invited for the Goa Carnival
In Goan villages, however, the festivities have a more indigenous flavor. Though celebrated by the Christian population of Goa, the carnival’s only relevance to Christianity is that it is celebrated before Lent. The festival today has no religious undertones and has come to be a cultural highlight of the state, rather than of the religion.
Traffic Arrangements for Panjim Goa Carnival
In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 115 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988? Nikhil Kumar, North Goa District Magistrate, has hereby ordered the diversion of vehicular traffic on February 17 from 1 p.m., for organising King Momoâ€™s float parade in view of Carnival festival in Panjim from New Patto Bridge (boat cruises jetty), to Campal football ground.
The diversion of traffic shall be as under:
The Carnival floats will be assembled infront of Old Secretariat. This floats will further proceed through D B Marg and will culminate at Parade Ground, opposite Bal Bhavan, Campal. During the float procession the out going traffic on reaching Campal Ganesh will take right to Fire Brigade junction proceed to St. Inez Junction to Caculo island and proceed further though M.G. Road to come upto behind Old Secretariat turn left and exit via New Patto Bridge (old lane PWD side) which is presently used for incomingtraffic. Similarly incoming traffic will come via Old Patto upto behind Old Secretariat and take left and move through Jose Falcao road and come upto Church Square and proceed further to their respective destination.
Though the vehicular traffic need not be disturbed till the commencement of the procession, it would be necessary to ensure that the traffic is channalised right from 12:00 noon on February 17 and should come on D B.Bandodkar Marg upto Hotel Mandovi and proceed towards behind the State Bank of India via Casa International behind Old Secretarial and on reaching Bandodkar statue will take left turn so as to proceed to their respective destination via New Patto Bridge (Old lane PWD side). No Vehicular traffic shall be allowed to enter the D. B. B. Marg once the Carnival procession starts which would be left free for the passage of :Camiva! Parade.
Further it is ordered that staff is posted and barricades are placed wherever necessary on. the outlet roads joining D.B.B. Marg from New Patto to Kala Academy. The circulation pattern of the vehicular traffic in the above circumstances will be that all incoming vehicular traffic entering Panaji will, be via Old Patto Bridge and outgoing will be through New Patto (Old Lane). The incoming heavy and commercial vehicles should be diverted at Old Patto Bridge so as to take Rue-de-Ourem road via Bhatulem from 2 p.m. till the Carnival float parade is over.
Viva Carnival Goa All Invited !!
News from Herald, Daily of Goa.