Goa Fairs and Festivals

Goa 2012-2013 Calendar Festivals and Fairs

Goa is a small state with rich cultural history with various religious mix of people, thus having many festivals and events throughout the year. Goa celebrates not only Hindu, Muslim and Christian festivals, but also festivals that are exclusive to Goa. The Hindu and Muslim festivals usually occur on different dates every year (as per lunar calculations) whereas the Christian ones occur on fixed dates.

You can check the festivals celebrated in Goa during your travel dates and participate as well. It will help you to know the local people and culture as well, with plenty of things to do, see and enjoy.

Following is the list of all the popular fairs and festivals with community celebrations in Goa:

Goa Fairs and Festivals (with Holidays in 2012-2013)
Month (Year) Festival/Fair Name Date Details
November 2012 Goa Heritage Festival Mid of Nov 2 Days of Muslim dancing and plenty of food to go around in Colva.
Feast of Our Lady of The Rosary 3rd Wed of Nov Celebrated on the 3rd Wednesday of November in Navelims Church.
Tiatr Festival Mid of Nov drama arts and theater at the Kala Academy within Campal
Goa Food and Cultural Festival Late Nov and Early Dec 5 days of poetry, painting, open-air concerts, local delicacies and a chance to sample freshly prepared seafood dishes. Culminating in night-time fireworks around the coastline and partying throughout Goa
Marathi Drama Festival Late Nov and Early Dec Marathi Drama festival takes place at Kala Academy from November to December.
Konkani Drama Festival Late Nov and Early Dec programme of traditional Konkani music, dance and theatrical events, taking place at the Kala Academy
December 2012 St. Francis Day / Feast of St. Francis Xavier 3 Dec Goan biggest religious celebrations based around the tomb St. Francis Xavier, at the Church of Bom Jesus.
Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception 8 Dec A big fair and church service at Panaji Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Christmas 25 Dec Christmas is celebrated as a holiday throughout Goa and India. Catholics flock to midnight mass services traditionally called Missa de Galo or Cock Crow as they go on well into early hours of the morning. Christmas Day is marked with large family gatherings and feasting.
New Years Eve 31 Dec Late night party on the eve of New Year
January 2013 New Year 1 Jan Holiday on 1st of Jan as New Year
Feast Of Three Kings 6 Jan Local Festival held in Old Goa, and known for its hilltop celebrations, which include drums, trumpets and rejoicing. Also known as Epiphany Day
Feast of the Novena Mid of Jan a chance to enjoy plenty of local dishes and specialties
Jatra Mid of Jan Jatra is the feast of the God to whom the temple is dedicated. Best at Shantadurga Temple at Fatropa in Quepem, at Bogdgeshwar Temple in Mapusa and Devki Krishna Ravalnath Temple at Marcela in Ponda.
Republic Day 26 Jan national holiday in Goa and all around India, with military parades and ceremonies
February 2013 Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria 2 Feb Popular Christian festival held on 2nd February at Pomburpa.
Sabado Gordo Mid of Feb carnival festivities with a procession of decorated floats, street partying and various events, held on the Saturday before Lent
Goa Carnival 9,10,11,12 Feb 2013 3-4 days of partying, with colourful processions and an exciting atmosphere, celebrating the arrival of spring. The streets come alive with colors, lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars, graceful dances and of non-stop festivity.
Zatras in Feb Mid of Feb Many Zatras are held during this period such as the Kavlem Zatra at Ponda Shantadurga temple, Maruti Zatra At Panaji in the Mahalaxmi Temple, Manguesh Zatra at Ponda Mangueshi Temple, Mahalsa Zatra/ Vajayarathosav also known as the Chariot Festival is celebrated at Mardol near Ponda at the Mahalsa Temple of Mohini.
Pop, Beat and Jazz Musical Festival Mid of Feb Pop, Beat and Jazz Music Festival – a host of concerts take place at various venues around Panaji
March 2013 Maha ShivRatri Early Mar Hindu festival, Prayers offered to Lord Shiva. best at Siroda and Ramnath temples both in Pond and at Sanguem; also good at Harvalem, Kavlem and Mangesh Temples
Shigmotsav (Shigmo) or Holi Mid of March farewell to the winter months, heralding the official start of spring, including costumed parades and Goan drumming at its best
Procession of the Saints Late Mar, Early Apr the fifth Monday during Lent, with 30 different statues and parades around the streets of Old Goa
April 2013 Good Friday Early April
Goa Carnival Mid of Apr 3 days of partying, with colourful processions and an exciting atmosphere, celebrating the arrival of spring
Feast of Our Lady of Miracles Mid of Apr feast day for both Hindus and Christians, taking place 16 days after Easter
Easter Late Apr
Feast of Jesus of Nazareth Late Apr Held in Sindao on the first Sunday after Easter.
Beach Bonanza Mid of April to May From mid-April onwards successive Sundays see Colva Beach becoming the scene for this small festival featuring live music, dancing and entertainment. Partying around main beach towns and resorts of Goa with food stalls and entertainment fests.
Youth Fleet Mid of April Same as Beach Bonanza but on the Calangute beach.
Mahavir Jayanti April Jain festival, celebrated by the strictly vegetarian Jain community. Marks the birth of Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, and is a public holiday. Celebrated grandly at Borim in Ponda.
May 2013 Igitun Chalne Mid of May fire-walking festival is based at the Sirigao Temple in the Bicholim region. the high point of the festival which occurs at night when devotees of goddess Lairaya walk across a pit of burning coal to prove their devotion.
Goa Statehood Day 30 May State holiday to celebrate Goa becoming the 25th state of Indian Union on May 30, 1987.
Margao Crafts Festival 1-31 May Handicrafts festival is a part of the 50 years completion of the liberation of the state.
June 2013 Feast of St. Anthony 13 June celebrate the arrival of the monsoons, If the rains have not yet started, a statue of St. Anthony is lowered into a deep well
Feast of St. John The Baptist 20 June The Feast of St.John is a thanks giving for the arrival of the monsoon. The most obvious manifestation of the rains is the fact that the wells start to fill up again and to mark the event young men of the community jump into the water.
Sao Joao Festival 24 June involving celebrations of newlyweds, particularly around the bridegroom and his new in-laws, who welcome him into their home
Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul 29 June monsoon-based celebrations by local fishing community of Goa
July 2013 Naag Panchami Mid of July Hindu festival offering prayers to Snake (Nag Devta)
August 2013 Independence Day 15 Aug National holiday in Goa and throughout India, as India got independence on 1947
Gokul Ashtami (Janamashtami) Mid Aug The celebration of Lord Krishna birthday. In some Krishna temples the deity is symbolically placed in a cradle.
Navidades 24 Aug The offering of the first sheaves of rice to the head of state.
Bonderam Festival 4th Sat of Aug celebrations based around Diver Island, some 12 kms from Panjim, including the feast of Bonderam and mock battles
Feast of St. Lawrence Late Aug marking the end of local monsoon season in Goa
September 2013 Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganesh Festival) Early Sept The festival lasts 10 days involving the exchanging of gifts and offering prayers to Lord Ganesha. Clay models of Ganesh are taken in procession around the areas of the temples before being immersed in water.
Navratri Late Sept or Oct Hindu celebrations including fasting, praying, and folk dancing
October 2013 Fama de Menino Jesus 2nd Monday of Oct major feast day in the Colva area, involving a parade with a statue of the baby Jesus
Dussehra (Durga Puja) October major religious Hindu Festival involving the burning effigies of evil characters, Also offering prayers to Goddess Durga
Diwali (Deepavali) Oct or Nov This Hindu festival also known as the Festival of Lights is second in importance only to Ganesh Chaturth. Night-time illuminations, fireworks and decorations with exchanging of sweets and gifts.

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