The feast of Pentecost, or feast of the Holy Spirit, takes place fifty days after Easter, and is observed in all of Goa’s Catholic churches, with the celebrations being particularly big in Panjim and Margao.
The Church of the Holy Spirit celebrates its feast day in the last days of May or early June. There is a week-long fair associated with it, where a variety of monsoon provisions (dry fish, chillies, spices etc) are available. In addition, there are also a variety of other items including furniture, household items and the traditional Goan khajem and channa.
Popularly called Purumentachem Fest, it was the go-to spot for the people of South Goa, where they could pick up their annual monsoon stock of culinary ingredients, back in the day.
ABOUT THE CHURCH
The Holy Spirit Church in Margao (or Espirito Santo Igreja em Margao, in Portuguese) is over 400-years-old and was the first church to be built in Margao. Its style of architecture is magnificent, and the interiors and altars are a gorgeous work of art. While these might be pleasing to the eye, the church also contains some fascinating marvels of design.
The Holy Spirit Church is located in the Old Market Square (Largo da Igreja) in the town of Margao, and was constructed in 1564 by Jesuit missionaries from Europe. It was the first church to be built in Margao, but was destroyed in 1571. It was later rebuilt in 1645, which took 30 years to complete.
Its architecture is in the Indo-Baroque style and consists of an entrance of courts, grand staircases and an opulent reception room. The outer façade of the building has white exteriors with towers on either side of a central dome. The interior has ornate walls and ceilings in gilt carvings and crystal. The church also houses a huge cross dating back to the 17th century and a vintage pipe organ.
The gorgeous reredos (ornamental screen) is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and rises from the ground to the high ceiling. The window arches are in the shape of sea shells, while a moulded peacock adorns the north transept wall. The altars of the church are dedicated to St Michael, St Peter and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Statues of St Anthony and Blessed Joseph Vaz are also seen in the church.
This year, the feast of Pentecost, or feast of the Holy Spirit, is celebrated in the Holy Spirit Church in Margao (Espirito Santo Igreja em Margao) on June 5, 2022