The annual four-day Carnival float parade will be held in Goa from February 22 to February 25. The main float parade of the festival will be held in the capital city Panaji on February 22 followed by other cities across the state.
The float parades will be held in Margao and Quepem on February 23, Vasco and Curchorem on February 24 and Mapusa and Morjim on February 25.
Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar held a meeting with the carnival committee members with the Commissioner of Corporation of City of Panaji, Sanjit Rodrigues suggesting that the route of the Panaji Carnaval Float Parade should be changed from the existing Miramar to Dona Paula road, to Patto bridge to Azad Maidan. This, the CCP Commissioner said, was in order to bring the festival atmosphere in the city.
The Committee members of Margao Carnival Float Parade decided to restore the old route from Margao Holy Spirit Church to the old bus stand instead of the parade taking place in Fatorda. The other routes of Mapusa and Vasco Carnival parades will remain unchanged.
This year only five prizes will be awarded. Carnival in Goa, though significantly smaller than the well-known Rio Carnival or the Portuguese Carnival of Madeira, is a unique festival in India. Despite falling into obscurity during the later days of the Portuguese colonial rule of Goa, the Carnival in the state was resurrected as a minor street celebration in 1965 and has since turned into a major tourist attraction.
The Carnival parades held in the capital city of Panaji and other Goan towns, usually begins on Fat Saturday – known as Sabado Gordo – evening with a procession headed by King Momo. Balloons, horse-drawn carriages, decorated bullock carts and floats are highlights of the parade. The festivities during the Carnival include dancing troupes, revellers wearing masks and costumes, sports competitions, floats and parades, and food and drinks. The Carnival concludes on Fat Tuesday – known as Shrove Tuesday – just before Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent.