Goa is one of the world famous tourist spots where one can witness a lot of festivals celebrated throughout the year. Apart from the beautiful beaches, churches, artistic temples and lovely flora and fauna, Goa is also very well known for its grand Carnival which is one of the most famous and fun filled event of the State. The Goan Carnival celebrated by the fun loving people of Goa displays different items that allow overseas and domestic tourists to feel the different shades of Goa.
This year the carnival in Goa was one of the most hyped events in the state as it was the first time one would witness a Brazilian participation in the Goa Carnival. Many from the neighbouring states also were prompted to come to Goa just to witness the Brazilian troupe.
On Saturday, February 2nd, the much-awaited three-day Goa annual carnival kicked off with a colourful parade of tableaux in the capital city Panjim. King Momo, atop the float was flanked by a foreigner dressed in white. King Momo then according to tradition pronounced the customary decree, setting the pace for fun and merry making till February 5. The Goan cultural floats drew much appreciation from the crowds and were a treat for the eyes reminding many of the fading customs and traditions among Goans. Prominent among the customs displayed were that of khambhars (potters), paddekars (coconut pluckers), nustekar, etc. The Brazilian floats depicted native Brazilians who were the original inhabitants of the land. Then there was a 'Caravela' signifying the arrival of the Portuguese discoverers followed by a mystical sea goddess known as Yemanja- a highly venerated cult figure who represents the bountiful generosity of the sea.
On Sunday, Margao the commercial capital of Goa reverberated to the sounds of dance, music and revelry, as King Momo's rule reigned supreme in the City. The Margao Municipal Square was literally converted into a sea of humanity, with revelry, dance and music taking centre stage for about two-hours and half as the float parade wend its way through the City thoroughfares. Here the Brazilians danced to the Samba - as eagerly awaited by the anxious crowd. Artistic floats depicting the traditional fisherfolk, Goenche Kumbhar; Kombeacho Saad, Render ani Goenche Vavaraddi; Niz Goenkar Uronk Nam and other floats bordering on social themes, besides the traditional Kunbi dance stole the limelight, receiving wholesome praise and accolades from the huge crowd.
On Monday evening, the Port Town also rocked to the beats of 'Viva Carnival', as thousands of people converged at Vasco to witness the carnival parade. The people here were entertained to the music and dance of many floats out of which floats such as 'Goencho Sonar Shet', Kombeacho Saad, Render ani Goenche Vavaraddi were highly appreciated by the spectators.
The three day annual Goa Carnival 2008 finally concluded on a note of fun and frolic in the city of Loutulim on February 5th. As this year was the first time Brazil participated in the Goa carnival the event saw the participation of a large number of tourists who said that they thoroughly enjoyed it.