Tuesday, 25 February 2014

It’s Carnival time



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Goa carnival is popular all over India and abroad too. There is an influx of tourists from all over India and around the world. The focal point of celebrations is in Panjim, the buzzing capital of Goa, where the maximum number of street performances, floats and a five-day food and cultural festival will be hosted....

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The world over, like in Brazil, Canada, Italy and the US, these countries host carnival, the annual street festival and party with creative floats, costumes, singing, dancing and it’s the time to freak out. It’s fun and party time for the locals. They are out in their best and colourful dress with an intention to enjoy and have fun and dance to the tempting music.

In India, the most popular carnivals are hosted in Goa, Cochin and Manali winter carnival. This year the Goa carnival will begin on February 28 and go on till March 4 across the fun-loving state. The Goa carnival is normally celebrated before Lent, the 40-day period of fasting, prayer and abstinence before Easter. Its time to celebrate and enjoy, have fun and dance to the music.

Goa carnival is popular all over India and abroad too. There is an influx of tourists from all over India and around the world. The focal point of celebrations is in Panjim, the buzzing capital of Goa, where the maximum number of street performances, floats and a five-day food and cultural festival will be hosted. 

The floats draw in the crowds. They depict Goan art, culture, tradition, folk dances, Goan tiatrs (plays) and folk songs known as mandos. However, over the years, it has undergone a major transformation. The float designs have improved and the fun and frolic has gotten more colourful and innovative. The floats are conceptualized and created by the locals, especially youngsters with the help of oldies from various villages of Goa. Now it has become a bit commercialized with even the corporate and private sector participating in this mega event. Top Indian bands come here to showcase their music and are scheduled to perform this year too.

The whole atmosphere is charged with friendly competition and fun. The focal point and the major attraction is the King Momo, a pot-bellied man, who is accompanied by enchanting dancers in colourful and fancy costumes, and sits atop a float as the King of the Carnival. He is selected by the committee from the huge number of requests it receives for this big event. A theme dance, The Samba Square is also planned in Panjim. This year’s carnival is being touted to be the biggest held so far.

In India, different states have celebrated and also hosted one-off carnivals in recent years to showcase the place, attract tourists and boost tourism in their regions. These include the Chandigarh Carnival held in Nov 2013 and the Sikkim Winter Carnival in Dec 2013. These are mainly to draw people, mainly tourists who love to see and participate in the fun, music and dance.

Cochin Carnival in Kerala is held in December. The carnival has been in existence for thirty years and is celebrated in the last week of December. Not many people are aware about it.

It is part of the Potuguese legacy that the coastal port city shares with Goa. Portuguese, Dutch and Indian dance forms are the major attractions in the fun and celebrations. The procession is led by a decorated elephant on New Year’ Day is the highlight of the carnival. People look forward to the festival to showcase their village. They prepare days in advance to put up their best. A friendly competition adds  to the merry making.
Manali Winter Carnival in Himachal Pradesh is held in January. It has been held since 1977. Skiing championships, food festivals, craft bazaars, local music and band competitions, folk dances, street plays and adventure sports are its highlights. This year’s five day winter carnival started on January 2. The Winter Queen Pageant is a popular event.

And around the globe, carnivals are held, like the Rio Carnival in Brazil in February, Trinidad & Tobago Carnival in West Indies in March, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA in January-March, Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada in January-February and Venice Carnival in Italy during February-March.

From Goa to Brazil to West Indies to US to Europe, carnival season invites all to enjoy the local flavor and participate in the fun and frolic. Take to the streets, freak out and have great fun! 

Carnivals act as a catalyst for tourism and boosting the image of the region, promoting the arts, craft, culture, traditions and food. The Goan Carnival attracts a lot of local and foreign tourists. Its time Goan music, dance, fun and cuisine.

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8 comments:

  1. Great Festival i want to visit this festival next year.

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