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Experience the real Goan culture at the Goa Carnival

One of the most popular events of the state, the Goa Carnival, is back this weekend. Experience the best of Goan culture, food and dances from February 18-21, if you’re visiting.

The carnival will be celebrated at four locations — Panjim, Mapusa, Margao and Vasco. Processions, complete with elaborate floats and creative performances have been planned. The largest among these happen at Panjim, followed by the other destinations.

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All the details about Goa Carnival 2023

Goa carnival
Image credit: Shutterstock

Led by Carnival King Momo, the grand parade includes musicians, acrobats, dancers, and people in creative costumes. After this, visitors can head to the exhibition venues to see fine samples of Goan art and culture. But this is not where the festivities end. Locations across Goa hold grand masquerade balls, and revellers even take to the streets. Local delicacies are served at eateries across the state, taking your carnival experience a notch higher.

One of the traditions also includes people dressing up in costume and playing pranks at their friends’ houses, in a festive spirit. The carnival ends with a Red and Black dance, which is the last chance for people to take part in the festivities. After the Goa Carnival, the 40-day period of Lent begins.

Introduced around 500 years ago by the Portuguese, the carnival was once celebrated largely by Catholics in the state. Today, this includes everyone, no matter their religion, region, or belief system.

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Things to keep in mind when attending the Goa Carnival 2023

Be prepared for long traffic jams, since the roads are crowded due to the celebrations.

Event details

What: Goa Carnival 2023
When: February 18 to 21, 2023
Where: Panjim, Mapusa, Margao and Vasco
Entry fee: There’s no entry fee for the carnival. However, INR 100 will be charged for the Red and Black Dance

Hero and Image credit: Shutterstock

This story first appeared on Travel+Leisure India and South Asia.

Experience the real Goan culture at the Goa Carnival

Anushka has worked with publications such as Times of India and Being Indian. A graduate from Xavier Institute of Communications, she specialises in entertainment, food and travel. She also likes to write about sustainability and beauty. When not working, you can catch her reading a book, tending to her plants, cooking or playing an instrument.


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