On Saturday, the excitement was all-encompassing and Divarkars once again rose to the occasion to provide wholesome entertainment to those who visited the island to witness the big 'Bonderam 2023'.
Unlike the last rain-inspired cool weather at the small Bonderam in Malar just a week back, the big Bonderam (better known as old Bonderam) at Piedade saw humid weather conditions throughout the float parade.
Locals and tourists poured into Divar Centre from where the traditional floats started and ended at the Our Lady of Divar High School, a few blocks away.
Just 10 minutes before 4 pm, the traditional flag march made its entry at the Divar Centre from Vittozem. The flag march was accompanied by a nine-member brass band that pelted out Goan and Portuguese tunes from their four trumpets, three saxophones, one snare drum and one base drum.
Earlier in the day, at 5 am, the same brass band went around every nook and corner of Divar playing the traditional Alvorada to herald the commencement of Bonderam, the 39th one this year.
At 4.10 pm, the traditional flag march, accompanied by the brass band made its way from the Divar Centre to the main stage where the Bonderam anthem was played, setting the tone for the annual festivity.
Soon after the anthem was played, the fancy dress competition in junior and senior categories entertained the crowd. The junior category had nine participants, while there were only three in the senior category.
In the float parade, the float having the theme, Vokdam Zhadd Paleachim (medicinal plants) by Maddant Stars, drove home the message of the dying legacy of medicinal plants, which our ancestors held so dear to their hearts.
A float by Divar Centre, with the theme Ami Sogle Ek (we are all one), called upon Goans to stay united at a time when small stray communal incidents are threatening to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the State.
Notwithstanding the humidity and heavy sweating, the youth and the elderly accompanying the floats danced their hearts out keeping in tune with the spirit of the occasion.
On Saturday, the ferry services at Ribandar and Old Goa witnessed the annual queues of vehicles piling up to cross the Mandovi and get to the island to witness the festival.
Bonderam, which is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of August, ushers in the harvest festival. It is among the festivals that allow Goans to take a break from the daily routine of life and give them a reason to celebrate.
And the celebrations went on till late at night, with tourists and locals vibing to everybody's favourite, Mark Revlon and DJ Ryan Nogar, making the best of Saturday night.