The Goan version of Holi is celebrated with big parades and crowds; drum
and dance groups vie and huge blows threaten to bring down telegraph wires
and rush towarsds through streets in a festive mood. During this festival
period famous temple Yatras are held. Processions are carried out at temples
by throwing colour and dancing with god and goddess umbrellas and Dindi.
This festival celebration is organized in different cities to attract
tourists. Processions are carried out in cities with conventional Goan
dances and modern drifts. People are esteemed for best performance in the
When does it fall?
This festival is celebrated around March each year is linked to the
lunar-based Hindu and comes not far from Carnival festival, which is also
celebrated before the Catholic season of Lent. Shigmo begins some five days
before the full-moon day of the Indian calendar's month of the Phalguna and
ends on the full-moon day in the old areas of Goa. The celebrations presumes
a big proportion in Panaji, Mapusa, Vasco-da-Gama and Margao
Shigmo in Goa is fundamentally a festival of the masses. It is celebrated
all over India, though it is celebrated under different names and in
different ways in various parts of the country. Like in Goa it is famed as
festival of farewell to winter celebrated on the full moon day in the month
of Phalguna (March), the last month of the Hindu calendar. As Goa has always
been a land of temples, this festive begins with Naman. In Goa, which has
always been land of temples, Shigmo begins with Naman or collective bowing
of villagers from 9th moon day to full-moon day. During all these days, they
are suppose to avoid non-vegetarian food and intoxicants. And starting from
the 11th Moon day to the 15th moon day, various village groups flock in
their most colorful attires, commence with festive mood with multi-colored
torans, flags and Dwajas.
The people beat drums and blow flutes to assemble at the village temples
and then dance in the temple court yard singing various folk songs. On the
5th day, comes the real day of jubilation. It is known as "Rang
Panchami" is exercised variously at various places. The main function
of the day, however, is the lush use of 'Gulal' or red-powder. Its a mark of
trump, when people throw it on each other as an indication of open-hearted
greeting. The processions are also held followed by a series of Kunbi
Folk-Dances performed by village tribal women, dressed up in colourful
sarees, are simply irresistible. Regional dances from the Northern and
Southern (counties) of Goa also find manifestation during Shigmo.
Countless men march on the beats of the drums and others dance with
umbrellas holding in their hands. Both men and women attired in beautiful
costumes march and represent various deities. This Goan Shigmo Parade can be
remembered as a life-long experience.