Goan Carvinal Festivals - The Goa Carnival is an essential part of the Portuguese heritage of the state, which was a control of Portugal till 1961.
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The carnival epitomizes the merry making culture that is an attribute of Goa.
It was initiated by the erstwhile rulers as a boisterous celebration in which flour; eggs, oranges, lemons, mud, sand-filled gloves along with dirty water, various liquids and glue were aimed at neighbors and pedestrians.
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Used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils were also thrown out of windows. Perhaps this was done to remove the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast.
It is celebrated throughout Goa just after two days of Easter. In these days people gorged on majestic food at lavish feasts, and convents distributed cakes and pastries.
Though illustrious for only three days, the preparation for the festival usually goes for many days, and builds up to a frenzied pitch by the eve of the carnival.
The Traditions of Carnival in Goa still retains the old charm and originality. A King of Chaos is chosen, called King "Momo".
He presides over the three-day festivities, which catch the attention of visitors from all over India and abroad.
Carnival in Goa is a non-stop 3-day festival of color, song and music, providing a hale and hearty entertainment for all, young and old.
The full of fun- 'n' –frolic and the joyous ambience, which the Carnival generates, is much longed for. Street Plays, songs, dances, and unrehearsed farces are performed before an enthusiastic, responsive audience.
There is happiness and excitement all around Goa.
All people participating in this open carnival wear colorful costumes and intricate masks.
In the joyous ambience, people smear color on each other, instead of the flour, eggs, fruit and water that used to be used in earlier times.
The carnival is meant to be a feasting-drinking-merrymaking orgy just before the austere 40 days of Lent.
Huge parades are planned throughout the state with bands, dances and floats out all night on the streets, and grand balls held in the evenings.
The carnival wrap up with the famous red-and-black dance organized by the Clube National in Panjim on the final day.
Among the many and various colorful feasts and festivals that are celebrated in Goa, the Goa Carnival is the most impatiently awaited event.
The festival today has no religious undertones and has come to be a cultural emphasize of the state, rather than of the religion.
The Goa carnival is synonymous with the state of Goa and is the manifestation of the quintessential fun-loving spirit of Goan's at its sublime best. Largely a legacy of the Portuguese era, the Goa carnival has transcended the confines of its religious roots.
Seen in a wider context, the carnival of Goa is one of the several carnivals held in different parts of the world that precede the 40-day abstinence period of Lent.
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