The 'Carnival’ is exclusive and unique to Goa, and was introduced by the Portuguese who ruled over Goa for over five hundred years. The word Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘to take away meat’ and is an expression of the 40-day period of fasting of Lent, during which abstinence from meat is a rule.

Although, the three-day festival is primarily celebrated by Christians, it has also absorbed Hindu tradition revelry, western dance forms, and turned into a pageantry of sorts. Though it started as a celebration enjoyed only by the local population, it has today crossed the state frontiers and attracts thousands of people from all over the country.

The carnival is held in February for three days and nights, when the legendary king Momo takes over the state and the streets come alive with music and color. Then begins the weeklong event, which is a time of unbridled festivity and merry-making, which has been celebrated since the 18th Century.

 

 
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