Goa Hindu Festivals
Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion in Goa. Though the long
years of Portugal have left the Christian influence on Goa, yet
Goa has not forgotten its roots and maximum people follow Hinduism.
Thus Hindu festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and
enthusiasm. The best part is that all people celebrate all major
festivals as Goans and not as Hindus, Muslims or Christians. The
amazing amount of religious tolerance in them is truly commendable.
Given here are some major Hindu festivals that are celebrated
Considered as the most popular and widely celebrated Hindu festival
in Goa, Ganesha Chaturthi is dedicated to the birthday of Lord
Ganesha, the Elephant God in Hindu mythology. It is celebrated
around the months of August - September in Goa and due to the
influence of the nearby state of Maharashtra; it has gained much
popularity and fame in Goa as well. Ganesha Chaturthi wins hands
down as the most popular festival in Goa.
Holi is the famous festival of colors that is celebrated to mark
the end of winters and the beginning of the spring season. It
is celebrated with much joy in all parts of northern and central
India. People irrespective of age, caste and religion come together
and smear colored powder and drench each other with colored water.
The festival of Dusshera is another major Hindu festival that
is celebrated in Goa. It is celebrated just before another popular
festival known as Diwali. In the festival of Dusshera, huge dummies
of the Demon King Ravana (of the Hindu epic Ramayana) and his
two brothers are burnt all over the state, which marks the victory
of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
Diwali / Deepawali
Also known as the "festival of lights" Diwali is celebrated
all over India and Goa with much enthusiasm and fervor. All homes
are cleaned from top to bottom and are decorated with flowers
and small earthen lamps around evening. Children burst firecrackers
and burn effigies of the Demon king Ravana, known as Narakasur
Janmashtami is a famous festival of the Hindus and is celebrated
to mark the birthday of Lord Krishna. This festival usually comes
around August - September according to the Hindu calendar. People
visit temples to pray and decorate their houses beautifully with
flowers. Young boys usually hang a small earthen pot that is filled
with buttermilk known as "Dahi Handi" at a height of
around 9 - 10 feet (sometimes higher). They then form a pyramid
by standing on top of one another and attempt to break the pot
while the people around cheer them and attempt to break their
pyramid by pouring water.