Football mania fails to dampen Margao Shigmo parade

Large number of people witness the celebration despite delay in start
The main Romtamel procession.
The main Romtamel procession. Dhiraj Harmalkar

Loud sounds of ossai ossai, and dholtashetutari and shamel echoed all over Margao on Saturday evening as the colourful Shigmotsav wended its way through the town. 

The young and the old stood together in large numbers to witness the rich tradition and euphoria of Shigmo in the commercial capital. The eye-catching floats accompanied by music in the background raised the excitement of revellers. 

The unnecessary delay in starting the Shigmo parade, which has become customary, could have been avoided.

The Vasco all-women Romtamel troupe.
The Vasco all-women Romtamel troupe. Dhiraj Harmalkar

In the fancy dress category, there were 40 participants dressed as farmer, gods and famous personalities. These performances were well received and applauded by the crowd. The participants were given participation certificates and gifts.

The Romtamel started at around 7 pm which was delayed by more than an hour. The exact reason for this delay was unknown but it was obvious that there was a lack of time management and coordination among the organisers of the event. 

A float depicting Lord Narsimha.
A float depicting Lord Narsimha. Dhiraj Harmalkar

There were around four Romtamel groups that entertained the crowd with the rhythmic playing of dholtashe and kashale. The troupes also sang the kavans, which are the traditional praise songs sung to appease the local deity of the village or clan. 

The float parade took off at around 7.30 pm from the Holy Spirit church towards the Margao municipal circle. Many of the floats were based on the Puranic (ancient Hindu scriptures) themes, with majority of them depicting duals between gods and demons. It is learnt that around 24 floats took part in the Shigmotsav

Ravana's angry portrayal.
Ravana's angry portrayal. Dhiraj Harmalkar

Some of the people expressed the Shigmotsav parade should have started on time so that they could reach home in time. Due to the delay, many were disappointed as they had to leave the float parade in the middle and go home.

The sitting arrangement was poor on either side of the municipality building. The barricades were put up near the footpaths to avoid any commotion during the float parade. Police personnel and the traffic police monitored the traffic movement and ensured the float parade continued without any hindrance.

Chapai dance of the Dhangar samaj.
Chapai dance of the Dhangar samaj. Dhiraj Harmalkar

It was surprising to see a good number of people attending Shigmotsav given that the ISL final match was being played at Fatorda at the same time in Margao. The organisers, who thought the match could play spoilsport, were relieved to see a good crowd.

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