To many across the globe, Goa is a preferred holiday destination. Tourists especially set foot in the state around November as the weather is considered simply perfect – with the rains having made a retreat and winter taking a sneak peek.
November 2023 is going to be bustling with events – from the ongoing National Games, to the highly anticipated International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Besides which the local festivals during the month that bring out the culture and traditions are simply endearing. So, for a memorable November sojourn in Goa, add some of these events to your to-do-list.
37th NATIONAL GAMES
The curtains on the 37th National Games currently underway in Goa will be drawn on November 9, 2023. But before that, there’s a lot in store with around 8000 plus athletes participating in about 42 sports events. Representing their States, athletes are now competing for glory and to add to the medal tally. If you have missed out on any action, here’s your chance to catch up on events like volleyball, rowing, yachting, kabbadi, wushu, judo, shooting, football and much more.
If you are an ardent sports fan, come over and cheer your State teams at the various venues as the games are being held across Goa in Mapusa, Margao, Panjim, Ponda and Vasco.
In Goa, the festivities of Diwali are celebrated with great pomp. The neighbourhood youth spend hours making Narkasur (huge effigies of a demon) which is then consigned to the flames on the eve of Diwali symbolising the defeat of good over evil. Diwali being the festival of lights, houses in Goa get a makeover with people decorating their homes with lights and lamps.
On this festive occasion, Goans buy new clothes, prepare and share sweets and also partake in enjoyable evenings with music, fun and firecrackers.
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF INDIA (IFFI), GOA
Since 2004, Goa has been annually hosting the International Film Festival of India which serves as a platform to showcase and appreciate the art of filmmaking. With its 54th edition this year, IFFI will be held from November 20 to 28, 2023.
The festival is organized by the National Film Development Corporation of India Ltd (NFDC), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India in collaboration with the Government of Goa and the Indian Film Industry.
One can register to check out films in different competition categories including International Competition for feature films, Country Focus, Indian Panorama and World Panorama. There are also technical workshops and master classes by the industry’s best. IFFI also hosts a film bazaar and has international film personalities attending it.
NOVENAS OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER
St Francis Xavier, known as Goycho Saib, is highly revered in Goa. People from different faiths venerate the saint at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, where the sacred relics of the saint are preserved. This year, the annual celebration of the feast will begin with the maddi on 24 November. Following which, the novena will commence on 25 November.
The feast will be celebrated on 4 December (since 3 December is an Advent Sunday). With about 12 masses on the feast day, the first mass will begin as early as 3.45am and the high mass at 10.30 am. There’s also a huge fair on the occasion of the feast with rides, selling eatables, clothes, toys and more.
TRIPURARI PURNIMA BOAT FESTIVAL
Devotees across the country light lamps on river banks on the occasion of Kartik Purnima/ Tripurari Purnima that will be celebrated on November 27. In Goa, however, the festival that signifies Lord Shiva’s victory over demon Tripurasara, has a very distinctive celebration and draws a huge number of spectators.
There’s a boat making competition where miniature ship models are built using different materials. The celebrations begin in the evening at Vithalapur in Sanquelim. With some traditional music, a festive ambience is created on the banks of river where the competition is held.
A number of feasts are celebrated in the month of November. These include the feast of Mae dos Pobres in Nuvem (near Margao) that is celebrated on the first Sunday of November; feast of Our Lady of Merces that’s annually celebrated on the second Sunday of November, feasts of Our Lady of Help at the Church of Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, Ribandar and the feast of Lord Redeemer at Divar.
The novenas of Venerable Fr. Agnelo will also begin on November 11 at Pilar and his day will be celebrated on 20 November.