or 'Carnem Levare' is a Portuguese word which means 'to take away meat'
means putting away flesh. It is annual four day celebration sweeping Goa off
its feet. Goa's well-known festival has been celebrated since the 18th
century. Stated for its feasting-drinking-merrymaking party just before the
40 days of Lent; a time of chastity and devotement. Huge parades through the
cities are formulated 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.
When does it fall?
This unique and exclusive festive is heralded in February. For three days
and nights the streets come alive with colour. Held in mid February, the
week long event is a time for lively processions, floats, the strumming of
guitars, exclusive dances and of non-stop party.
Origination of The Festivity
The origin of carnival was due to the voluptuous feasts of ancient Rome and
Greece. It made its emergence in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, where
it was transmuted into the very Latin singing-dancing-drinking turns. The
carnival is governed by King Momo, who on the opening day orders his
subjects to party. The carnival signifies the fun-loving culture that is
symbol of Goa. It was initiated by the erstwhile rulers as a wild
celebration in which flour, eggs, oranges, lemons, mud, sand-filled gloves
along with dirty water, various liquids and glue were targeted at passersby.
Fierce battles were waged in the streets, with eggs, wax lemons and beans.
The carnival in Goa still remains the root of the pristine`. A King of Chaos
is elected, called King "Momo". He controls over the three-day
festivities, which attract visitors from all over India and abroad. Perhaps
this was done to abandon the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast.
SStreet Plays, songs, dances and the merrymaking people perform before a
fascinating and responsive audience. They compose and rehearse short plays
inclusive of song, music and dance to be displayed during the carnival. The
plays are generally related to history and are exhibited only by men. They
perform the roles of women as well and are dressed in bright colorful
costumes. The contestants wear colorful costumes and elaborate masks. They
form the head of a parade of colorful and attractive troupes of masked
whoopees dressed in gorgeous attires sing and dance in a playful music that
is mostly performed live. The best groups are given handsome prizes. In the
fun-filled ambience, people smear color on each other, instead of the flour,
eggs, fruit and water that was used in past times. These celebrations,
cultural functions and competitions are judged by specially selected people.
King Momo distributes the prizes to the winners.
In Goan villages, however, the festivities have a natural flavor. Though
celebrated by the Christian population of Goa, the carnival's only purpose
to Christianity is that it is celebrated before Lent. The festival today has
no religious buzz as such as is not celebrated anywhere than in India.