Portuguese Panjim & the Goa Carnival 2017 // Panjim, Goa

When we set off for Panjim we had plans to stay for 2 nights, but had little idea of what we were really going to do there. Having not had WiFi in our last accommodation (a bamboo hut in Arambol doesn't scream high-tech location) we hadn't researched it past the guestbook. All we really knew was it is Goa's capital, and still strongly bore the influences of it's Portuguese occupation through it's arcitecture - as you can see from the pictures below.

When we arrived we were surprised with the information that it was day 1 of a 4 day 'Goa Carnival 2017'. After finding a hotel, some food and a Lord of the Rings siesta during the hottest part of the day (we had been robbed of our time with the hobbits due to a train fiasco from Rajasthan to Thivim) we headed out to the Carnival. 

Almost exclusively attended by Goan's, there was a parade from about 5-7pm along the main road of Panjim which had been closed for the occasion. We were covered in gulal (traditional name given to the coloured powders used for the typical Hindu rituals) by the dancing locals as the parade went by. Then from 7pm onwards there were performances by bands in the main square - dubbed 'Samba Square' for the event. The music was mostly 80's samba-esque covers, I think we heard 'La Bamba' about 4 times, but everyone was having a great time and the food and drink stalls were doing very well! We left while the party was in full swing and aren't sure when it went on till, however judging from the deserted town at 10.30am the next day - potentially quite late.

Apparently this carnival happens every year at the start of Lent and is celebrated all over Goa, but Panjim is the main city that kicks off the celebrations. It is mainly a Christian festival (as it celebrates the start of Lent) but it has absorbed some Hindu traditions of revelry, such as the powder throwing. So if you are ever in the area at this time, I would definitely recommend giving it a visit!

Goa Carnival Website:

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