Bonderam- Goa’s festival of flags

The end of monsoons is near and the feats and festivals have just begun. The fun and frolic never ends in the state of Goa. Don’t believe it? Then be a part of the Bonderam celebration happening at the tiny island of Divar, just a ferry ride away from the Tiswadi taluka.

Bonderam- a Festival of Flags

‘Bonderam’, translates to the word ‘flags’. Bonderam takes place on the fourth Saturday of the month of August. The festival begins late in the afternoon with the carnival styled parade. The parade features floats prepared by each village ward and of course, the most important aspect, flags. The parade is followed by live performances of famous bands and DJ. The revelry and celebration goes on till night. The parade often featured flags of various countries.

The Tale of Flags

The festival is celebrated in the village of Malar a week earlier than in Divar. The festival is held in tribute to the dispute and the fury of the villagers over the Portuguese system of resolving the disputes. The islanders often got into disputes over ownership of land. To resolve these disputes the Portuguese would put up flags at the boundaries of the land. The villagers disliked the system and rebuked it by pelting stones at the flags.

Harvest celebrations

This is also a part of the harvest festival of the Divar island. On the next day, which is a Sunday, the harvest feast is celebrated on the island . The parish priest reaps the first sheaves of paddy with the help of a sickle. The villagers then proceed towards the church accompanied by the flags and the brass band. The statues of the parish patrons and Jesus is also a part of the procession.


picture credits: Golden Goa