Shigmo in Goa is esentially a festival of the masses. Though it is celebrated under different names and in different ways in various parts of India.Shigmotsav

It is the festival of farewell to winter celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna (March), the last month of the Hindu calendar.

In Goa, the land of temples, Shigmo begins with Naman or collective obeisance of villagers from 9th moon day to full-moon day. During all these days, they are to shun non-vegetarian food and all intoxicants.

From the 11th Moon day to the 15th moon day, various village groups clad in their most colorful dresses set out with festive mood with multi-colored cloths, torans, flags and column-like red spoted "Dwajas", beating drums and blowing flutes to gather at the village temples, and dance in the temple court yard singing various folk songs to the beat of the drums.

On the 5th day comes the real day of rejoicing. It is called "Rang Panchami" - it is practised differently at different places. The main function of the day, however, is the profuse use of 'Gulal' or red-powder. It's a symbol of rejoicing, when people throw it on each other as a sign of full-hearted greeting.

ShigmotsavA spectacular display of Goan Hindu ethnicity and mythology is on show as the annual Shigmo parade held centerstage on Panjim's 18th June Road.

Attired in traditional costumes, various folk groups consisting of women and men dancers give vibrant performances of various dances. These are interspersed with mell groups that move along the route with their traditional Goan drums.

The grand finale is always provided by artistically designed and beautifully lit up floats. The parade is also held on a lesser scale in Ponda, Vasco, Margao and Mapusa.