Holi in Goa: The Shigmo Processions

A major part of Goa’s Shigmo festival, are the processions with floats showcasing mythological characters. These draw a large crowd from all over the country and visiting tourists.

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Shigmo is the festival of Holi as celebrated in the state of Goa, India, lasting 14 days. The festival is a tribute to warriors who returned home during the autumn festival Dussehra, after fighting invaders. 

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The processions are in the form of parade floats and accompanied by folk dances and traditional music that fill the streets of Goa, once a Portuguese colony.

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The last five days of the festival are when the parades take over the streets across the state in various cities and smaller villages.

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It's not just the mythology and history, but the lives of the local people are also depicted by folk dancers to the beat of drums.

Ghode Modni Performance at the Procession (2020-03)Incredible India!

Ghode Morni - The Horse Dance

Ghode Morni, a form of martial arts integrated with horse dance, is also performed in some of the parades. The dance commemorates the Maratha warriors of the past that ruled over the state.

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Romtamel

Romtamel is another popular folk dance performed during the parades. Typically seen dressed in white, with a colourful vest or waistband, and saffron headgear, they carry flags and dance to the beats of drums and cymbals.

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Dressing Up as Gods

A family-fun affair is to costume up in mythological characters – gods, goddesses or even demons! The theme is not binding to mythology – some dress up as famous historical figures, others get creative!

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Some fancy dress competitions are held as well, with participants of all ages getting to put their best pose forward.

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The participants join in the street processions and too the vibe of the spring celebrations – it's a festival of colours and pride!

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Mythological Floats

Come eventing, the streets light up with legends coming to life as scenes and characters from mythology come to life!

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Elaborate floats depicting scenes from Hindu epics are constructed.

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These floats loom over the crowd, bright and lit up, attracting a large number of spectators.

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The Last Day

During the final day of the festival, the local village deities are carried on palanquins to the village prayer halls and temples. Devotees join the parade and follow the deity to the prayer hall.

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Explore more elements of Holi here.

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