From carol singing to making cribs to enjoying the beautifully lit streets of Goa, here's how you can have the best Christmas experience in Goa. Our top 8 picks covers food, entertainment, music, art and lots of fun activities taking place in Goa during the Christmas season.
If you've finally decided to pack your bags and make your way to Goa to enjoy the December vibe, then, here is your personalised guide to help you make the most of this trip.
You can experience the sands of this beach destination, and at the same time, enjoy the festivities like a local. And, to do that, these are the things you can start with.
1. BOOK A HOTEL OR HOMESTAY AND RELAX!
Christmas in Goa is not just fun and exciting, but it can get a little tiring, too. No, we are not kidding, this is just the beginning! And, we bet that with the all festivities, you would want to take some time off or just pause for a bit.
And for that, you might want to select a location that will provide you tranquility and peace. So, look out for homestays and hotels that offer scenic and quiet view points.
Locations along the shore or in the wilderness are your best bet. This will also help you to rejuvenate and unwind while enjoying the Christmassy vibes in the state.
2. VISIT GOA'S LOCAL MARKETS
Goa puts on a very festive ambience during Christmas. It's just the first week of December, here in Goa, and the markets are already filled with festive stars, décor, cribs, clothes and food items.
If you are planning to decorate your living space, then pick up some glittery decorations. There are plenty of new and fancy decorative items in the markets these days, and you can also choose some string lights to light up your room.
In the Margao Municipal Market, you will find plenty of homemade sweets which you can pick up for yourself, or a you can design a hamper to send to your loved ones back home.
A wide range of fabric is also available in the local shops during the festive season, and people purchase these and get gowns and dresses custom made for the many festivities in December.
Mapusa Municipal Market is another popular destination from people source local ingredients to prepare food items.
3. DECORATE OR CREATE SOMETHING
Doing something on your own, or getting your hands dirty with paint craft can be the best feeling at this time of year! And, trust me, most people love getting creative at Christmas time. These days, there are a variety of Christmas trees in the market; take one home and decorate it with festive ornaments. Alternatively, there are loads of DIY video tutorials to make ornaments. Find one that works for you.
In Goa, cribs are made in every Catholic home. The idea of the crib is to recreate that very first Christmas scene in Bethlehem. So, people make a cow shed with dry grass; sow seeds for grass and build palaces out of carboard.
Alternatively, you can pick up a readymade crib and decorate it in themes and ideas of your own. And, it will totally give you the Christmassy feeling at home on Christmas night.
4. SPOT GROUPS AND CHILDREN SINGING CAROLS
In most villages in the state, you will find children going around the neighbourhood singing carols. Even at various malls and public places, there will be carolers singing joyful carols.
Sit back and let these lovely voices and music entice you.
5. ATTEND CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS
We know this might sound boring, and religious. But, rest assured, if you're looking to experience Christmas in its real essence, then you simply have to witness the midnight mass scene.
Nearly every parish has a Christmas mass at midnight, and it is interesting to watch how people wear gorgeous dresses and gowns, while the men folk are all suited up, ready to go to church to attend the midnight service.
After the services, most parishes organise cultural programmes and dances for the people of the locality which basically promotes a sense of community. You, too, can join in and dance the night away to the beat of amazing Goan musicians.
6. DON'T MISS THE DANCING
Christmas dances are a big hit in Goa. You will find not just the young, but also the older generation happily attending Christmas dances and parties. These dances are traditional dances, hosted by various clubs and groups.
(Tip: Practice some jive, cha cha, ballroom, waltz, etc if you really want to have a great time). You can have a night of the typical ballroom dancing along with best DJ and bands. It is a total mix and the parties go on till the next morning, and you certainly wouldn't want to miss these festive dances and parties.
7. LOOK OUT FOR THE BIG CRIBS
During Christmas in Goa, there are many places where very large cribs are made. These are huge community cribs, and many are mechanical. Some of the most popular villages that hosts such cribs are Rachol, Cansaulim, Velsao, Nuvem etc.
There are cribs which are also made in various parishes, and are best enjoyed by simply walking through them! Most of these massive cribs allow visitors to take a walk within as you browse through various biblical depictions, which recreate the Nativity scene in a galaxy of creative ways and themes.
Don’t be surprised to find almost life-like palaces, houses and landscapes and even 'people' adorning these cribs, which are truly amazing works of art.
8. PRETTY CHRISTMASSY STREETS
You don’t really have to be in a Christmassy mood in order to enjoy Christmas, but the very moment you are in Goa, you can get that Christmas vibe at this time of the year.
Just looking at the streets of Goa, brimming with colourful lights, lanterns and stars will definitely make you fall in love with Christmas.
In places like Saligao, Nuvem, Varca, Pilerne, Panjim, etc, streets and homes are decorated with all manner of stars, lanterns and lights. You can simply enjoy driving through these winding streets that come alive during this season. Or, just stop and strike a pose to click that all-important selfie of your Christmas in Goa!
If you're someone who wants to experience Christmas festivities like a local then don't forget to try out these things.