Goan Catholic feasts in a nutshell

Evelyn Siqueira

A feast is celebrated in every church and chapel in Goa on designated days.

Goa | feasts | St Rita Chapel | Salvador do Mundo | PHOTO: Evelyn Siqueira


Back in the day, no festive celebration in Goa would begin without the lively music of a traditional brass band at the crack of dawn.

Goa | feasts | church | alvorada | brass band | PHOTO: Rohan Fernandes


Both, the inside as well as outside of the church are decorated in a largely traditional manner using rows of string lights and colourful buntings.

Goa | feasts | church | decorated | PHOTO: Rohan Fernandes


This is a decorated pole, bearing a picture of the patron whose feast is being celebrated. The blessing of the maddi marks the beginning of the 9 days of novenas preceding the feast day.

Goa | feasts | novena | maddi | banner | PHOTO: Venita Gomes


A short procession is generally held before or after the feast mass. It begins from the church and follows a fixed route before returning to the church.

Goa | feasts | church | mass | procession | PHOTO: Joshua Gonsalves


The feast mass is held in the mornings, generally around 9.30 am or 10 am.

Goa | feasts | church | mass | PHOTO: Venita Gomes


Roasted gram and peanuts are a hot favourite at the fairs which are held during the novena and feast days and beyond.

Goa | feasts | fair | gram | PHOTO: Rohan Fernandes


Stalls selling the traditional festive sweet, khajem/kaddio boddio, are regular fixtures at festive fairs.

Goa | feasts | khajem | kaddio boddio | fair | PHOTO: Rohan Fernandes

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