Goa Carnival in Goa

Held before the beginning of Lent

Held before the beginning of Lent | Photo credit: Wikimedia / Andy Weisner

Goa Carnival Overview

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The Goa Carnival is held every year in Goa before the beginning of the Christian sacred observance of Lent. Lent marks a 40 day period of strict fasting and abstinence from non-vegetarian food and alcohol and hence Goans try and make the most of the days immediately preceding lent. The Goa Carnival is spread over a period of three to four days.

During the Goa Carnival you’ll witness beautiful parades, dancing and music and delicious food- lots of it in fact. Since the dates of Lent are decided by the Liturgical Calendar, the season varies each year, causing a variance in the dates of the Goa Carnival as well. Even though Lent usually falls towards the end of February, it is advised to check the dates beforehand.

Most of the celebrations of the Goa Carnival take place around Panjim, Margao and Vasco da Gama. The carnival features, clowns, fire eaters and dancers among other attractions and many other forms of entertainment as well. Hundreds of tourists come to visit the Goa Carnival each year and if you wish to be part of the carnival you can take part in the finale dance, popularly known as the Red and Black Dance. Dancers dress up in red and black costumes and have an enjoyable time dancing with their partners. There is no fee for the carnival, but there is a fee of Rs.100 if you wish to take part in the Red and White Dance and table reservations are charged extra. Since it tends to get crowded during the festival, it is advised to keep an eye on children.

  • Opening Closing Time End of February every year, though the dates vary.

  • Entrance Fee The carnival free and open to all, though you’ll need to pay Rs.100 if you’re interested in taking part in the Red and Black Dance.

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Panjim, Margao and Vasco da Gama