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Goa Carnival 2023

If you think the celebrations and the partying in Goa end with the onset of the new year on 1st January, you probably have never been part of the Goa Carnival. Three days of fun-filled, vibrant, and exciting celebrations liven up the state every year in the build-up to Lent Wednesday, and people from across the world travel to Goa to witness the diverse and colorful spectacle. Similar to the Mardi Gras festivities, the Goa Carnival roots can be traced back to the 16th Century to the arrival of the Portuguese.

The Goa Carnival festivities are a sight to behold, and if you enjoy delicious food, drinks, and an electrifying atmosphere, this Carnival is the place to be.

Goa Carnival 2023 Dates and Venue

The Goa Carnival celebrations occur during the three days preceding Ash Wednesday, marking Lent's beginning. In 2023, the carnival will start on 18th February, mid-day, until the afternoon of 21st of February.

The Goa Carnival 2023 will be spread across four major towns in Goa; Panaji, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa, and Margao. These towns' streets, buildings, and public spaces will be decorated with colorful ornaments. One can experience an incredible amalgamation of Portuguese and Christian tradition and culture in its unique blend, which includes Indian and Hindu influences.

History and Origins of the Viva Carnival Goa

The Goa Carnival is often referred to as the ‘Viva Carnival’ and is a one-of-a-kind celebration in India. The carnival history can be traced back to the Portuguese occupation of the state several hundred years ago, where the carnival was celebrated with extravagance in the build-up to Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the forty days of Lent.

The state’s unique relationship with the Portuguese culture makes it very similar to other South American countries such as Brazil and Columbia, which also witness wild Mardi Gras celebrations as part of similar traditions.

How is the Goa Carnival Festival celebrated?

The Goa Carnival is an exuberant and spontaneous celebration with three days of indulgence, delight, and joy that require you to do nothing but show up and participate in the three-day event. There is no ticketing system per se, and the celebrations pour out onto Goa's streets, towns, and beaches, and all are welcome to join. Choose from various outstanding local and exotic foods and drinks, dance to the magical tunes, join extravagant parades and processions and make memories that will forever live with you.

Highlights of the Goa Carnival 2023

One may look forward to several highlights of the Goa Carnival. Some of them are -

  • King Momo: Similar to the world-famous Rio de Janeiro carnival in Brazil, one person from the state is chosen to play the role of King Momo, who is considered to be the kind of festivities and celebrations. The Carnival kicks off with King Momo leading a massive, colorful procession surrounded by dancers, costumes, individuals, and other entertainers. The three-day carnival usually kicks off with King Momo announcing ‘Kha, piye ani majja kar,’ which translates to ‘eat, drink and have fun.’
  • Parades: The Goa Carnival parades are a sight to behold and feature entertainers from dancers and costumed acrobats to clowns and fire breathers taking a procession through the streets. The participants often dress in traditional Goan costumes with intricate and beautiful designs. The parades also feature decorated horse-drawn carriages. In line with local traditions, old utensils are often thrown onto the streets when the processions pass the residential buildings, as this is considered a time of cleansing and getting rid of the old.
  • Feast on the food: The Carnival features a wide range of mouth-watering fish and meat dishes, traditional sweets, and a wide assortment of drinks. Take your taste buds on a journey through the beautiful cuisine of Goa and the exotic flavors it has to offer.
  • Red and Black dance: On the last day of celebrations, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the famous red and black dance takes place with women dressed in black skirts and red tops and men wearing black trousers and red shirts. The event is a real visual treat for all who are present.

How to reach the Goa Carnival Location?

Goa is a state in India which is easily accessible by air, road, and rail. Regular international flights fly in and out of the state, and you can take connecting flights from major Indian cities like Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai.

You travel via road to the venues if you are in a nearby state. The bus journey to Goa is a beautiful experience. You can travel to Goa by bus from various Indian cities. To book a bus online, you can find tickets on the official website of redBus or the mobile application. You can find all details and compare prices, amenities, etc., of the different bus operators that offer bus services to Goa on redBus. The state is also very well connected by India’s vast railway network.

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