Goa has a rich cultural history and being a part of India itself means having a kaleidoscope of festivals. This small sate of India was under the Portugal rule, Mughal rule and also has a tradition of its own. This has resulted in a unique cultural amalgamation, which is evident from the festivals it celebrates. People in Goa are extremely tolerant of different religions and respect different religious faiths. Goa celebrates not only Hindu, Muslim and Christian festivals, but also festivals that are exclusive to Goa. Some of these festivals are typical of Goa and can be as Goan festivals. Check out our related sections to have an idea about the major festivals of Goa.
The Portugal rule in Goa left a deep and ever lasting Christian
influence in this state of India. At that time, people were converted to
Christians on a large scale. Though they follow the Christian practices
and believe in the Christian faith, but they have not forgotten their
Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion in Goa. Though the long years of
Portugal have left the Christian influence on Goa, yet Goa has not
forgotten its roots and maximum people follow Hinduism. Thus Hindu
festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Goa does not quite have a sizeable Muslim population and it ranks after
Hindus and Christians. Though there are not many Muslim festivals in
Goa, the main ones are celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm. The two
main Muslim festivals that are celebrated in Goa are Id-ul-Fitr and
One of the most celebrated events in Goa is the Shigmo festival. It is
celebrated all through Goa in a grand manner. The Shigmo festival in Goa
lasts almost a fortnight and is celebrated with much joy and fervor
among the Goans. The Shigmo festival is known as Shigmotsav in Goa.
The Bonderam festival of Goa is celebrated on the Divar Island. This
quiet little island is located at a distance of 12 kilometers from
Panaji. The celebration of this festival has a unique history behind it.
It is said that many years back, the villagers resented the rules that
were adopted for settling disputes regarding the land issues.
A very popular event in Goa is the Feast of Three Kings. It is
celebrated every year in the month of January during the holy Epiphany.
This is one Christian festival that is celebrated with much joy by the
Hindus as well. The Feast of Three Kings is celebrated in the honor of
the Three Kings of Magi who came with gifts for infant Jesus Christ.
Feast of St.
The feast of St. Francis Xavier is one of the most important festivals
in Goa. Though essentially a Christian festival, all Goans irrespective
of their caste and religious faiths come to the Basilica of Bom Jesus
located in Old Goa to participate in the feast.