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Planning a trip to the sunny Goan coast before the summer heat sets in? Well, book your tickets and pack your bags, you don’t want to miss the end of February- its Viva Carnival!


Gear up for the most energetic and vibrant of festivals truly capturing the essence of Goa in a flurry of pomp, splendor and celebration that you absolutely must witness. What’s all the fuss about this Carnival, you ask? Read on for some insights into the amazing experiences that await you this February in Goa.

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The Carnival in Goa, or as the locals would say, "Viva Carnival" is an adaptation of Mardi Gras celebrated here since time immemorial. It may not be on as large a scale as the world renowned Rio Carnival, but it's the largest festival of its kind in Indiamarking one of the few traditional celebrations of the Catholicholiday in Asia. The Carnival originated in the colonial era, with its roots dating back to the introduction of Roman Catholictraditions during the Portuguese conquest of Goa. The festival fell into obscurity as colonialism collapsed, to be resurrected with renewed spirit as a minor street celebration in the Groovy 60s. It has since grown to be a major tourist attraction for Goa.


We have the vision of a remarkable Goan musician- Timoteo Fernandes to thank, who brought Carnival back in 1965, modelling it after the famed Rio Carnival. A lot has changed since the small-scale celebrations of those early years- today, the Carnival is an elaborate cultural affair with some of the most extravagant efforts put in over months of preparation for the grand show.



The Urban parade includes floats from local villages and cultural groups. Everything is still organised in a very traditional manner that adds a wonderful authenticity and rustic charm to what would otherwise have become a gaudy, flashy, commercial affair. Do not miss out on the staging of hilarious and dramatic street-side local plays, in the coastal taluka of Salcete, that beautifully portray Goan customs and traditional life.

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It all goes down in the end of February, on “Fat Saturday” (22nd Feb, 2020) and the festivities conclude on “Fat Tuesday” (25th Feb 2020)- just in time for Ash Wednesday(the first day of the Catholic season of Lentand abstinence).
Viva Carnival starts on Saturday evening with a grand procession, led by King Momo who sets out for the parade with his vivid entourage of dancers, marching bands, clowns, acrobats and other entertainers bringing the spirit of merriment and celebration to the state. The honour of being appointed as the head of the parade- King Momo is given to a local resident whopresides over the festival all 4 days. He traditionally proclaims the warm Konkanimessage “Kha, piye aani majja kar” - in other words - Eat, drink and make merry!

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Feast your eyes on the highlights of the parade- colourful balloons, horse-drawn carriages, decorated bullock carts and elaborately constructed floats. You will be entertained for hours witnessing the talented dancing troupes, masked revellers in costumes, soulful live music and exciting sports competitions. The entire festival is a foodie’s paradise with the very best of traditional local and international cuisine from across the culinary crazy state available to tantalize your taste-buds. Wash it all down with the impressive selection of beers, liquors and wines available.


The parade moves down the main street of the capital city of Goa, finally coming to rest after hours of festivity.Mark Panjim out on your itinerary for a grand finale to the festival, complemented by "Grape Escapade"- an aptly named local Wine festival where you can indulge in some of the most delicious and premium wines from the best vineyards of the state. End the glorious evening on a spritely note with lively dancing at Samba Square in the centrally-located Garden of Garcia da Orta. The signature red and black dance is a sight to witness, with the women and men dressed in red upper garments and black leggings dancing in synchronization and grace to the infectious beats of the drum band.

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Jasminn Casa Laguna is perfectly located for you to stay in Panjim, the capital- right in the midst of all the Carnival Festivities. Jasminn South Goa has all the Margoa celebrations right near your hotel stay!

Viva Carnival is waiting for you!