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Carnival in Goa is one of the smaller celebrations of the carnival festival worldwide, but is the largest in India and one of the few happening across Asia. It usually takes place around February each year and earlier used to be called the carnival (or karnaval).[1] The Goa Carnaval has turned into a major tourist attraction.

Goan Carnaval
Goa Carnaval.jpg
People dancing during Goa Carnaval.jpg
Floats at Carnaval in Goa 2.jpg
Floats for Goa carnaval.jpg
From Top left to right: City decorated for Carnaval, People dancing on streets, Floats during Carnaval
Also calledCarnaval, Carnival
Observed byGoans, communities worldwide
SignificanceCelebration prior to fasting season of Lent
2018 dateAfternoon, February 10 –
midday, February 13
2019 dateAfternoon, March 2 –
midday, March 5
2020 dateAfternoon, February 22 –
midday, February 25
2021 dateAfternoon, February 13 –
midday, February 16
Related toMardi gras



Since the 1960s, the festival got a boost after the end of Portuguese rule in Goa. From a rural-based festival sometimes taken over by boisterousness, it grew into an urban floats-based parade, where commercial entities and cultural groups play a significantly bigger role. It is still organised in a very traditional manner, including by the staging of streetside local plays, in the coastal Catholic-majority taluka of Salcete. According to the government of Goa's Department of Tourism, the carnival is "Goa's most famous festival and has been celebrated since the 18th century."[2]

in Goa usually starts off on Fat Saturday known as 'Sabado Gordo' and concludes on Fat Tuesday known as 'Shrove Tuesday', just before Ash Wednesday that starts with the first day of the season of Lent.

It is considered that Goa comes under the rule of King Momo during the Carnaval period. King Momo preaches the message “Kha, piye aani majja kar” (English: “Eat, drink and make merry”).


The Carnival is set to motion on the first day-Fat Saturday evening with a colossal procession headed by King Momo. Balloons bobbed up in the air with multicolored trails and a colorful procession featuring horse-drawn carriages, decorated bullock carts and gorgeously bedecked floats are the highlights of the parade. The festivities during Goa Carnival include dancing troupes, revelers wearing masks and costumes usually, electrifying music which is generally performed live, sports competitions, floats & parades and hedonistic pursuits like great food and drinking.[3]


In 2018, the festival was celebrated from 9–12 February[4]. In the urban areas, the float parades were held in the following cities: Panjim, Margao, Ponda, Vasco, Curchorem, Mapusa and Morjim.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ ttyg-05. "Goa Tourism - The Great Goan Carnival 2018". Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  2. ^ "Carnival". Goa Tourism. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Goa Carnival 2018 | Festival in Goa". Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  4. ^ "Goa Carnival 2018". Retrieved 30 Oct 2018.