Goa began Carnival celebrations on Saturday with the traditional inaugural float parade in Panaji. The state showcased its Latin elements that were imbibed during the Portuguese rule. King Momo led the parade marking the start of four days of festivities in the state.
The parade, which was hosted by State Tourism Department, was held along the seashore on the road connecting Miramar beach to Dona Paula, and was flagged off by the Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar in the presence of Panaji Mayor Surendra Furtado.
Revelers were seen participating in the parade wearing self designed costumes and being cheered by the audience along the Marine drive near Miramar beach.
Carnival is celebrated before the beginning of lent when Christians in the state undertake fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline for 40 days as a religious observance. Carnival presents an opportunity to indulge in eating, drinking and celebrating, which is prohibited during lent.
“Carnival is one of the flagship tourism events of Goa.It is a symbol of our culture and tradition,” Tourism Minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar told reporters on the sidelines of the festivities.
The people attending the parade are treated to decorated floats, which have a theme reflecting social circumstances of the time. Troupes of dancers are seen performing in a synchronised manner.
The festival is also attended by the tourists visiting the coastal state.
After the innaugural parade in Panaji, similar parades will be held in Margao on February 11, Vasco on February 12 and Mapusa on February 13. The parade in Ponda will take place on February 11, Curchorem on February 12 and Morjim on February 13.
Information credit: IANS, PTI.