One doesn’t need a reason to travel to Goa and if this is during the monsoons, even better! The monsoons in Goa is a magical experience. The rivers joyfully overflow with their rushing streams, the trees dance to the tune of the winds, h and the fields cover themselves with a verdant green carpet ready to welcome you to a land of eternal beauty.
The so called ‘off season’ in Goa offers a plethora of adventure activities and magical experiences that has converted even the most reluctant tourist into a fan. But if you truly want to soak in the spirit of a Goan monsoon, then you have to plan a trip during the festivals. These festivals are unique to Goa and each one has an interesting story behind it. Come, and discover a Goa that is beyond the ordinary.
- Sao Joao: Goa readies itself for the gala Sao Joao fest celebrated on June 24. This monsoon feast has special significance in Christianity as it is dedicated to St John the Baptist, the firebrand prophet. The celebration of San Joao goes back nearly 150 years, when San Joao revelers from Chapora and Zhor villages of Anjuna, Badem in Assagao and Siolim would come up year after year in boats to the chapel of Sao Joao in Periera Vaddo, Siolim, to pay homage and take part in the traditional dali. The festivals takes place at the beginning of Monsoon season in Goa and people of all ages jumping into wells, streams and ponds.
When: June 24
Where: Siolim, Goa
Ponsachem Fest : It is a Jackfruit festival called ‘Ponsachem Fest’ celebrated on the occasion of Sao Joao. Parish priest Fr Santana Carvalho said that the inspiration for the festival comes from Sao Joao itself. This is an occasion to savour Goa’s choicest jackfruits and the scrumptious items made from it.
When: June 24
Where: Socorro village
- Sangodd: The Feast of St. Peter, also known as Sangodd, is a monsoon-based celebration by Goa’s local fishing community. Their boats are tied together to form rafts, which serve as makeshift stages. On these stages are erected miniature models of chapels or churches.
When: June 29
Where: Everywhere in Goa
- Chikalkalo : Another happening event is the Chikalkalo. People celebrate Chikalkalo, a traditional festival, at Marcel, Goa. It is an annual traditional event in which people of Marcel village take part after the ‘Ashadi Ekadashi’.
When: End of July
Where: Marcel, Goa
- Touxeachem Feast: The magnificent Church of St Anne also known as the Santana Church locally is the scene of the very unusual feast every year. The Church located at Talaulim in Tiswadi taluka, is dedicated to St Anne. The couples come to the Church to seek the blessings of St Anne, who herself was blessed with a child after 40 years of barren life. They buy cucumbers from local vendors at the feast and offer them at the feet of St Ann and carry them home to eat. Touxeachem Fest (in Konkani) literally translates as the Cucumber Feast in English. Besides the huge number of devotees from all around Goa, a large number of newly married couples is in attendance.
When: July 29
Where: Talaulim in Tiswadi taluka
- Patolleanchem feast: It is a feast depicting a rich old Goan culture. This festival is organized on the feast of Our Lady of Assumption and the independence Day. Patollio ( a sweet made of jiggery and rice covered with a turmeric leaf) is prepared by the villagers and is blessed by parish priest Fr Santana Carvalho and is served to all and this is how the name Patolleanchem feast derives.
When: August 15
Where: Socorro village
- Bonderam is a local to the quaint island of Divar, away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. In remembrance of old territorial battles that took place on the island, mock skirmishes are re-enacted by boys and girls wielding fotashes (toy flags made with bamboo) and using berries for missiles.
When: third or fourth Saturday in the month of August
Where: Island of Divar