It is Goa's most famous festival and has been celebrated since the 18th century. Meant to be a feasting-drinking-merrymaking orgy just before the 40 days of Lent; a time of abstinence and spirituality. Huge parades through the cities are organised with bands, floats and dances and balls in the evenings. The final day concludes with the famous Red-and-Black dance held by the Clube Nacional in Panjim.Carnival

The origins of carnival are apparently the hedonistic feasts of ancient Rome and Greece. It made its appearance in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, where it metamorphosed into the very Latin singing-dancing-drinking bouts. The carnival is presided over by King Momo, who on the opening day orders his subjects to party. The festival attracts thousands of tourists.

The exciting and fun-filled three-day non-stop extravaganza of fun, frolic, song, music and dance that is uniquely Goan is a Pagan festival popular in Latin American countries that were colonies of Portugal at some point in time.

The Carnival is uniquely Goan and is not celebrated anywhere else in India. It is a typical Latin, song, music and dance and precedes the "Lent". The highlight of the exotic frenzy of merriment is the appointment and arrival of “KING MOMO” and his retinue to the capital city Panaji on "Fat Saturday", the eve of Carnival.

CarnivalThey form the head of a parade of colorful floats and troupes of masked revelers attired in gorgeous costumes singing and dancing in gay abandon to lively music that is usually performed live. The best floats are given handsome prizes.

The floats have in recent years been commercially sponsored. Carnival is also celebrated in the Goan countryside by the Christian populace and is called ‘Intruz’.

It assumes a unique form of creative spontaneity wherein folk songs/Cantars are sung from door to door in villages by troupes of mainly Christian peasants inviting everyone to join in the celebration.