Goa Carnival to begin on March 2

PANAJI: The popular Goa Carnival will begin in the coastal state from March 2, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has said.
He said the tourism department was expecting better footfalls during the carnival, after a lackluster response from tourists during the just-concluded Christmas and New Year festivities as compared to previous years.
“This season we saw a bit low tourist footfalls. We expect that the carnival festival will make up for the loss,” Ajgaonkar told reporters here.
The float parades will begin from Panaji on March 2, he said, adding that King Momo will lead the parades during the four-day festival.

Every year, a person from the state is chosen to play King Momo – a mythological character who symbolically rules the state during the carnival time and leads the float parades held across Goa.
The float parades would be held in Margao (South Goa district) on March 3, Vasco (South Goa) on March 4 and at Mapusa, Morjim (both in North Goa district) and Curchorem (South Goa) on March 5.
“We will be promoting the carnival across the world,” Ajgaonkar said, adding that the float parades would reflect Goa’s culture.

The main float of King Momo and the beautification of various areas for carnival would cost Rs 1.5 crore, he said. Besides, the state government has also set a budget of Rs 1.42 crore for the other float parades, he added.
The carnival is being celebrated in Goa since the 18th century and is meant for enjoyment and merry-making, just before the 40 days of Lent, which is the time of abstinence and spiritual preparation for Easter.
The festival was introduced by the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for over 500 years, an official earlier said. PTI

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