The penitential season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday for Catholics around the globe, and for Goa’s Catholic community, too.
This season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving begins in February or March, following the 4-day Carnival revellery, which ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
During this period, it is customary for Catholics to fast and avoid eating meat.
Pez is a rice gruel, and was the meal of choice for Goa’s Catholics, especially on Good Friday and other Fridays in Lent.
Traditionally, Catholics would avoid organising celebrations and feasts during the Lenten period.
The recitation of the ‘Way of the Cross’ is a common practice in all villages and cities at this time of year.
Penitential processions and Lenten pageants/tableaux are held in most parishes in the state, of which the Procession of Saints at Goa Velha, is the most popular.
The penitential season of Lent ends with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday observances. Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday.