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As the winter fades to give way to the charming spring, the string of festivities that follow, fills you with a sense of fun and frolic. There is gaiety in the air and hope inside the hearts of people, whimsically wishing for new beginnings and moments of celebration.
The events that occur one after the other, fuel the festive frenzy, trigger shopping sprees, and let them experience the soothing dives into waters in wells in honour of St. John. This is part of the festival that is observed compulsorily. Read to know more about the date, time, celebrations, history and significance associated with the Sao Joao festival.
Sao Joao Festival 2022: Date and Time
At the onset of the rainy season in Goa, precisely on the 24 June, the Sao Joao festival is held. It is a witness to a very unique event, wherein people of all age groups, dive into the wells. Ponds and streams as a mark of respect to St. John. This feast is celebrated a few months before Christmas.
Sao Joao Festival 2022: History of the Sao Joao Feast in Goa
Sao Joao Feast in Goa is a mark of tribute that is paid to the great St. John the Baptist. There is an interesting historical background to this festival. When John was still in his mother's womb, he had heard the news about Jesus Christ's advent into the earth. Unable to contain his joy, he danced in his mother's womb spiritedly. When Jesus was born, this John the Baptist, baptized him by immersing Lord Jesus in the River Jordan. The well is a symbol of his mother's womb and diving indicates joy due to the birth of the baby.
Catholics of North Goa are the happiest when these series of fests arrive as they show up life in more colourful light. Goan young men participate in maximum numbers as this happens in the rainy season, which allows for fun. All age groups of people dive into waters, in the wells, ponds, and even lakes. The chief eye-catching feature of this fest is the boat race in Siolim, the tiny quaint village in Bardez. People in different parts of Goa, show different levels of enthusiasm and zest when it comes to the celebrations. South Goa is soberer in comparison to the North Goa, and it is celebrated in a more serious way with oodles of devotion and sincerity, in areas like Anjuna and Candolim.
Sao Joao Festival 2022: Festive Celebrations In Goa
Villagers usually throw valuable gifts into the well at this time and the young men of Goa dive into these wells to retrieve them. This is their way of venerating John Baptist and recognizing the importance of the day.
Novotel Goa Resort and Spa is just a few minutes away from Candolim beach. Known to be the best luxury hotel in the entirety of Goa, it offers a rejuvenating massage centre at the Warren Tricomi spa, wherein you can swing to the choicest music at the pool area or enjoy savoury seafood at the in-house restaurants.
Rio resort, located on the banks of the Baga river, is the next best on the list of hotels. The architecture includes modern Indian décor with wooden flooring and boasts world-class amenities and service. You have free access to Wi-Fi, 6 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool, and a library for the literary inclined.
Sao Joao Festival 2022: History And Significance
Wherever you gaze, you can find youngsters in fancy crowns made from fruit and leaves. Popularly called Kopels, these crowns are a striking feature of the parade that people participate in. These youngsters visit the entire stretch of Siolim village and the areas nearby. All this is followed by religious hymns and Mando (a musical form that evolved during the 19th and 20th century among Goan Catholics of Goa). People are dressed in very unique ways, just with the intent to attract attention so that they can be easily identified. This feature is known as Sangodd. Several adventurous competitions are held to give a chance to youngsters to display their adventurous.
A variety of competitions are held during this time, giving youngsters a chance to show the adventurous aspect of their personalities. Feni (a famous Goan a spirituous liquor) is lavishly consumed during this feast. Newlyweds and mothers with newborns make merry in the lavish get-togethers arranged for this event. Gifts like mangoes, pineapples, and jackfruits, followed by Feni are exchanged.
On this day, brides carry a Goan sweet delicacy called Patoleo in the bridal baskets. Sannaas - rice cakes, are another delicacy that you will find in the basket These are the important aspects of this festival for which it is very much popular amongst Goans.
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Image sources: Wikimedia Commons
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