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Goa Carnival 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Goa Carnival takes place four days prior to Ash Wednesday, a day of obligation which marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent, in the Christian calendar. Lent marks the period of 40 days before Good Friday, when Jesus Christ was crucified and killed. People generally prefer to mark this period with fasting and abstinence from meat and alcohol.

This year, the Goa Carnival was to be celebrated from February 18 to 21, 2012. The Carnival is celebrated with a march of floats in the cities of Margao, Panjim, Mapusa and Vasco. It is celebrated in the villages too, but not on that grand a scale.

The Carnival is patronised by people of all castes and creeds. People come from far and wide to partake of the merriment and revelry, by singing and dancing and even cross dressing.

The carnival was first introduced to Goa by the Portuguese, the erstwhile rulers of Goa. Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule only in 1961. The Portuguese word for Carnival is “Intruz.”

My mother recollected that in pre-Liberation days, Goa used to celebrate the Intruz by singing and dancing. Families used to attend the events and enjoy themselves thoroughly.

Every year floats are floated by communities from various parts of Goa to celebrate the festival. Unfortunately, of late, the Carnival, and the floats, in particular, have become very commercial with a number of companies advertising their products via floats. This takes away the essence of the traditional floats.

This year there were rumours that the carnival would not be held on a grand scale as the Goa State elections were approaching and campaigning was on in full swing. But something far more unfortunate happened.

The Goa Carnival got cancelled because of a school bus which accidentally plunged in the waters of the River Kalki at Aldona Calvim, thus taking the lives of four children and two adults. The Carnival was cancelled on February 18 to mourn the deaths of the innocent children and the hapless adults.

Here are photos of the Goa Carnival 2012. A special thanks to Hithakshi Kotyan for the same.


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