goa carnival
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There are good party destinations, great party destinations, and then there is GOA – the mother of all! Sun, sand, swaying palms, sizzling seafood, sparkling sea, sleepy beaches, throbbing nightlife, hot hunks, and bikini babes – whatever your idea of ‘fun’ or ‘entertainment’ might be, Goa has it all.

No matter what time of the year you visit Goa, you’re guaranteed to have fun, fun and more FUN! However, if you want to witness the TRUE essence of Goa, visit during the Goa Carnival held every year during the month of February (Feb 06-09, 2016). Honestly, this is the closest you can ever get to the fun-loving culture and Portuguese heritage of Goa!

You need to visit the Goa Carnival because:

  • It’s Goa! ‘Nuff said!
  • This year, the Goa Carnival starts on 6th Feb!! (Yes lovers, pack your bags already!)
  • This is the ONLY festival of its sort in entire India!
  • Whether you’re sitting in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Doha, Muscat or even Sharjah, there are direct flights which can get you to Goa within hours!
  • You’re going to live only once!
  • Hedonism doesn't get any better than this!
  • Thousands of tourists who throng the festival every year, can’t be wrong.
  • This is Goa at its BEST. Really.
  • Once again, because it’s GOA. Period.

Who all can take part:

ANYONE and EVERYONE (Unbridled entertainment, absolutely FREE). Since the Carnival is an open event, you don’t need any tickets to have fun! (Yeah, just pack your bags!).

What to expect at the Goa Carnival:

As the Carnival kicks in, entire Goa comes alive with music, processions, parades of colourful floats, acrobats, clowns, music bands, electrifying song and dance performances by revellers in masks and stunning costumes, fireworks, fortune tellers and a lot more. Oh and yes, there’s also plenty of food and the drinks never stops flowing! In short, these are 4 days when Goa does not sleep. The revelry continues non-stop, day and night, with every second more magical than the other. When it comes to merry-making, no stone is left unturned by revellers here, since this is the final huge extravaganza, before the season of Lent starts. The norm is simple – EAT, DRINK and have FUN!

History behind the Goa Carnival:

The Goa Carnival was introduced by the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for nearly 500 years. The Carnival follows the legacy of the Portuguese rule and is celebrated immediately before the start of the Lent season. During Lent, people refrain from any kind of celebration or consumption of rich food items like meat, dairy products among others. So, the carnival is meant to be a huge, grand, guilt-free party and celebration, before the Lent season starts!

Where in Goa:

Though celebrations and parades take place THROUGHOUT Goa, the largest and most popular celebration is centred around Panaji, the state capital.

Tips to enjoy the Goa Carnival:

When it comes to tourism, the Goa Carnival is an absolute sell-out! So make sure you book your accommodation well in advance. Besides, since the Carnival kickstarts on Valentine’s Day this time round, the crowd is going to be a tad more enthusiastic (!). Also, travel light and there’ll be a lot of walking and street activities – so pack the most comfortable pair of shoes you own! Apart from that, just sit back, unwind and let the magic of Goa take over your senses.