Spectacular Monsoon Festivals of Goa
There’s a certain feeling of calmness that takes over when you picture the beautiful sunshine of Goa in your mind – the warmth of the summer sun, the magic of lazing on the beach or partying till dawn. It also brings fond memories of tucking into delicious seafood, happy Goan people and serene homes with their own little chapels.
Summer is all good, but have you ever visited Goa during the monsoon? Surprisingly, Goa turns gorgeous during the monsoons and is a sight to behold with its lush greenery and rain-drenched, palm-fringed roads. It’s an absolute treat for sore eyes and if you haven’t experienced Goa in the monsoons yet, we urge you do!
But it’s not just the lush surroundings that make Goa so appealing at this time of the year. Monsoon season also brings vibrant and fun festivals that make Goa even more exciting. If visiting Goa during the rains is on your mind, synchronize your dates so you can witness these gorgeous monsoon festivals and you’ll thank us for it! So, while you plan your itinerary, here’s a lowdown on some of the most popular monsoon festivals of Goa that you can look forward to attending.
Also known as the Monsoon Mud Festival, this unique festival is all about appreciating the beauty of Mother Earth, through the mud. It is typically celebrated in the 2nd or 3rd week of July when the Holy Goddess Devaki and baby Krishna are worshipped. The locals start their day by rubbing their body thoroughly with oil, to protect themselves from any infections from the mud. After offering prayers and tucking into homely meals at the local temple, the games begin. Mud wrestling, kabaddi, tug of war and dog and the bone are a few of the many creative activities that happen throughout the day.
Ever heard of the Cucumber Festival? Held on the day of the Feast of St. Anne i.e. 26th July, Touxeachem festival is celebrated by the Catholic community of Goa. Dating back a few centuries, the prime purpose of the cucumber festival is for childless couples, who take a cucumber as a humble offering and offer prayers in the hope of a child. But some people also pray for a spouse or a happy married life. It is a truly unique festival not to be missed.
Only a place as exceptional as Goa can have an entire festival dedicated to a sweet dish! Patolleo, after which the festival is named, is a dessert made by steaming rice flour, jaggery and fresh coconut in turmeric or banana leaves and served hot after a satisfying Goan meal. This festival falls on 15th August and is celebrated in homes throughout the state. The locals prepare hot Patolleos and distribute them amongst neighbours, friends, and in the churches too.
Symbolic of the end of a long dispute between the then Portuguese rulers, Bonderam or the Flag Festival, is celebrated at the end of August. The day comprises of the locals travelling to the small island of Divar on the outskirts of Goa. They carry colourful flags and dance and sing along the way. On the island, they play games and dance to bring in the festival accompanied by music bands to liven the air.
Another unique Catholic festival, this one is as colourful as it gets. Celebrated as a tribute to St. John the Baptist, the Sao Joao festival has young men jumping into wells, to symbolise the ceremony of christening or baptism. The day starts with the local Catholics stepping out wearing colourful head crowns made of fruits, flowers and leaves. After visiting the church and offering prayers to St. John, the rest of the day involves indulging in a lot of fun traditions. Along with boat parades, games, dances and jumping into wells, people also exchange fruits, flowers and bottles of wine and Feni (a local Goan cashew liquor) as a custom.
These monsoon festivals truly add to the charm of Goa, especially if you are looking for something beyond the beaches. For a unique experience of monsoon in Goa, plan your stay at the Sterling Goa resorts and enjoy curated experiences to fully immerse into the spirit of these festivals. Check-in to a world of Goan hospitality and luxury and gear up to experience Goa in a completely new way!