Goa Carnival

Why To Go

Panjims Goa Carnival was traditionally a four-day event of feasting and celebration before lent, a season of fasting and abstinence. It has now become an international event run by Goa tourism. It falls in the month of February, though the dates might change every year.

The opening events are held along the picturesque banks of the Mandovi River. Parades and floats pass down the waterfront, in a merry whirlwind of musicians, masked dancers, outrageous costumes, drunken revelers, family floats, competitions, skits, food stalls, competitions, skits, food stalls along the Mandovi. Thousands of tourists and locals come early to find themselves vantage points, and there is a general celebration in the air. In the evenings, parties and concerts flourish.

Though the original version of the festival dates back to the ancient Portugese days, the Indian version is marked by merry making with colourful procession of  masked men and women gathering at the streets. Fashion shows, live music, food add up the grandeur.

Travel Tips

Since the festival begins in February, tourists are advised to travel to Goa around 2-3 days before it begins to enjoy the other attractions in the area. Reservations in hotels should be made at least 3-4 months before the start of the festival to ensure that tourists get to book a hotel room as there could be huge demand during this particular period. Go colourful and enjoy live music, Goanese food and the local Goanese drink, Feni.

Things To Do

This famous festival cum carnival was first started in Goa in the year 1961. It was initially celebrated by one of the prominent rulers in the area, King Momo. Since Goa is known for its Portugese heritage, the festival also helps to celebrate the rich history and legacy of the place. However, the festival is now celebrated by people from different castes and creeds from various parts of India. During the festival, people usually abstain from consuming meat. During the early days, the festival was often only celebrated by the locals, but now there are people from various nationalities and religious backgrounds that come together to celebrate. Since it is celebrated just before the start of the period of Lent (a period of abstinence from meat and other indulgent items before the festival of Easter in Christianity), people take the opportunity to indulge in eating meat and consuming dairy products which are forbidden during Lent. During the colonial period, the festival usually started with a role-play between the masters and their slaves. The slaves would play the role of their masters and cover their faces with white plaster, which was the cause for much amusement and enjoyment. There are various kinds of celebrations which one can enjoy during the duration of the festival, including dancing, singing, drinking and eating, among other forms of merriment. Most of the major streets in the state come alive with dances, the sound of guitars strumming, and lively processions among other attractions. The streets are also decorated with vibrant colors and floats which add to the festivities. The carnival celebrations do not only take place during the day time. In fact, several acrobats, dancers, and fire eaters, among others, throng the streets of some of the main cities in Goa. The celebrations also continue through the night and are characterized by fun activities that are full of life and energy. Since the festival also celebrates the Portuguese culture, bottles of Feni and a range of delicious food add to the amusement and fun that the carnival is known for.

Getting Around

Goa has plenty of public and private options for travel, depending upon the budget and preferences. Hired transport options include pre-booked taxis, auto-rickshaws, taxi bikes or pilot cars, scooters and bicycle rentals, as well as privately booked chauffeur driven vehicles.

How To Reach


Located at 29 kms of Panaji, the Dabolim airport has different flights that operate between Dabolim to all other major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi and Thiruvanathapuram.


Part of the Konkan railway network, different trains operate between Panaji and major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The next nearest railway station at a distance of 30kms is Vasco da Gama.


There are several buses that ply from the neighbouring states to Goa. The main bus terminal is known as Kadamba. You will also get different private operators to various destinations.

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Surrounding Attractions

There are several buses that ply from the neighbouring states to Goa. The main bus terminal is known as Kadamba. You will also get different private operators to various destinations.
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