One of the best festivals in not just the state of Goa but also the whole of India, Goa Carnival draws people in droves. This unique festival has been celebrated since the 18th century after it was introduced by the erstwhile Portuguese rulers of Goa. Music, dancing and revelry make up this three-day non-stop extravaganza in the state. Colourful parades with floats are taken out all over Goa. These are organised by the State Tourism Department.

The float parade in Panaji is presided over by a king Momo, appointed especially for the festival. Preceding Lent, this carnival is held in February and comprises three days of singing, dancing, feasting and fun. The king and his entourage arrive on “Fat Saturday”, the eve of the carnival, and helm a lively parade of colourful floats and troupes of revellers in vibrant costumes and masks, singing folk songs and dancing along the streets. Although the festival is primarily celebrated by Christians, people of all faiths join in the festivities.

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