Calendar of Events and Festivals
Goans truly enjoy themselves. The best part of the celebrations are that they are enjoyed without any caste or religious barriers. The biggest celebrations are at Panjim and Margao. Besides the traditional festivals there are also village feasts – each village in Goa has a patron saint who has his/her own feast day – which are quaint, colourful and charming local events.
6 January – Feast of three Kings at Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor.
2 February – Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria at Pomburpa.
February/March – Mardi Gras Carnival.
Monday after 5 th Sunday in Lent – Procession of the Franciscan Order at Old Goa.
1st Sunday after Easter – Feast of Jesus at Siridao.
16 days after Easter – Feast of Our Lady of Miracles at Mapusa.
24 August – Festival of Novidades.
1st fortnight of October – Fama de Menino Jesus at Colva.
3rd Wednesday of November – Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
3rd December – Feast of St Francis Xavier in Old Goa. World Pilgrimage takes place every 10 years, when the Body of St.Francis Xavier, the spanish priest is exposed for public veneration.
8th December – Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Panaji and Margao.
25 December – Christmas. X'mas Carol Singing at Kala Academy, Campal, Panjim
January – Shantadurga Prasann is celebrated at Fatorpa village, south of Margao. Drawing a crowd of lakhs, a night-time procession of chariots bearing the goddess is the prime attraction. During the colourful Umbrella Festival, at Cuncolim, south of Margao, a solid silver image of Shantadurga is carried in procession over the hills to the original temple site. The Shri Bodgeshwar zatra, or temple festival, takes place south of Mapusa.
February – the 3-day Shri Mangesh festival takes place in his temple in the Ponda district. In Panaji, the Maruti festival is another crowd-puller.
March – In Goa, the full-moon festival of Holi goes by the name of Shigmo. It is celebrated with big parades and crowds, drums and dance groups competing with huge floats. It's marketed as the "Hindu carnival" and festivities occur in the main towns in the state, much in the same manner as they do for the Mardi Gras Carnival.
May – Igitun Chalne is celebrated when dhoti-clad devotees of the goddess Lairai enter trances and walk over hot coals at the village of Sirigao, Bichloim.
August – Janmashtami is observed in Goa. Ritual bathing in the River Mandovi, off Diwadi Island, to celebrate the birth of Krishna.
August – Bonderam arrives on the fourth Saturday of August. A sort of carnival on the island of Divar in the Mandovi river. Bonderam means the festival of flags, as colourful processions and mock battles are staged in a recollection of the property wars that raged on this island till a century ago.
Sep/Oct – There are nine days of festivities in Dussehra when effigies are burned on bonfires, and children perform episodes from the life of Rama. Ganesh Chaturthi is also one of the biggest festival celebrated.
Oct/Nov – Diwali Narkasur, the five-day Hindu "festival of lights" features processions all over the region, often accompanied by fireworks, burning of effigies and the exchange of sweets by neighbours, regardless of their faith.
Urus of Shah Abdullah at Ponda – 17th Feb.