Porvorim kickstarts the Goa Carnival celebrations

Friday evening float parade sets alight the stage for a cultural extravaganza and revelry across the State
The vibrant spirit of Goa Carnival 2024 is portrayed through this junk car at the Porvorim revelry.
The vibrant spirit of Goa Carnival 2024 is portrayed through this junk car at the Porvorim revelry.Gomantak Times

One of the most highly-anticipated events on the cultural calendar, Carnival 2024, took off on the streets of Porvorim in North Goa, bringing in cheer and setting the mood for the festivities to be continued over the next four days in the State.

Colourful scenes, lively rhythms and the vibrant spirit of the people were on display as the curtain raiser for the Carnival festivities was held for the second time in the charming locale of Porvorim on February 9, 2024.

King Momo leading the parade.
King Momo leading the parade.Photo: Abigail Crasto

Dressed in their festive best were Saligao MLA Kedar Naik, Mandrem MLA Jit Arorkar and Bicholim MLA Chandrakant Shetye who, despite the ongoing Assembly Session, had joined Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte for the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Khaunte began with a “Viva Carnival!” and proclaimed, “Four days before lent, people irrespective of caste, creed, religion come together to celebrate this festival. This is the speciality of Goans who come together in large numbers to ensure these traditions continue.”

He, along with the CM, would ensure that festivals like these would get enough support and that over the next few days Goans would get a platform to showcase their talents. The Carnival float parade was flagged off at around 4.30 pm and balloons were released in the sky.

The intricately put-together float parade was led by this year’s King Momo, Clive Gracias, flanked by beautiful ladies waving to the crowd and occasionally throwing across sweets that the kids gleefully grabbed.

The parade followed the route from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition (IHM) up to Acdil School in Porvorim.

The vibrant spirit of Goa Carnival 2024 is portrayed through this junk car at the Porvorim revelry.
Goa’s original King Momo still carries Carnival spirit with him

As King Momo paraded through the spectators, Filomina Rodrigues stood in the crowd taking pictures with her phone like most around her, trying to get the perfect shot of the entourage. “I don’t mean to be sarcastic but I think they could have done more,” she said as she pointed out that music was blaring at one corner and the dancers ahead were grooving without any music.

“Nevertheless, it’s a festive atmosphere; despite the heat people have come out and this is something Goa is proud of and it’s a nice festive time,” Filomina said, adding that she won’t make it to the Panjim float parade as she’d be returning to Mumbai.

In the recent years, the highlight of the Carnival has shifted to the float parades that are based on themes and are led by exhilarating performers coming from across the State, drawing people from near and far.

Although Tanuja Deuskar resides a few blocks away from the Carnival venue, she couldn’t make it to the first edition last year, so this time she made it a point to be there. “I’m here in Porvorim for the first time, but I’ve visited the Mapusa Carnival,” she said, adding, “It’s a nice experience, and the floats are quite good.”

And like Tanuja, standing with a brimming smile was Maria who was quick to describe her experience as “Wonderful!” She then added, “I’m from Israel, but have settled in Goa for some time now and it’s my first time at Carnival, the energy and vibe are amazing.” She, however, suggested that it would be better if the festival was held a little later in the evening as the heat was pretty unbearable.

But despite the heat, the crowd cheered on the revellers as they danced through the streets, taking selfies, tapping their feet and simply humming to the tunes. With the celebrations having started, the official and much grander celebration will begin on Saturday in Panjim, followed by other major towns across the State.

If you are around, don’t miss out on this cultural extravaganza that awaits one and all!

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