Goa Carnival Festival

goa carnival

Goa Carnival Festival

Year Dates
2023 feb 25 – 28 2022
2024 To be announced

Goa Carnival Festival – a carnival of life-time memories, fun and festivities – is one of the most popular traditional festivals in Goa. The carnival unique to Goa is a long-awaited celebration for many. This is the only state to have carnival celebrations in India, and the festival’s fun and fervour have attracted tourists from all over India and abroad. Every year, lakhs and lakhs of tourists visit Goa to have a glimpse of the carnival. Today, Goa Carnival Festival is one of the best festival tours in India. A festival that celebrates the culture and cuisine of Goa for 4 days, Goa Carnival takes place in the month of February. Goa Carnival 2023 Dates are from 25th February to 28th February 2023. Book your tickets for  Goa Carnival 2023.


Celebrated every year in the month of February, this colourful and vibrant festival has its origin way back to the 16th century.  It has been said that the celebration started in the year 1510 when the Portuguese arrived in Goa.  History says that when the legendary king Momo takes over the state Goa, there is a wide celebration all around. Carnival is based on the tradition of Mardi Gras in Christianity. Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Wednesday) takes place annually on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the Christian observance of Lent, which ends just before Easter. Mardi Gras is all about feasts, dancing & drinking, celebrations before 40 days of sacrifice and fasting that occur during the season of lent. Initially it was more about Portuguese traditions and culture but over the years, there is a huge evolution of the carnival, and today it is more about Goan culture.

Goa Carnival Festival Celebrations: Some Highlights

Goa Carnival is a picturesque of energy, vibrancy, colour, dances, music performances, positive vibes, and unmatched excitement. It is a unique carnival that shows off the wonderful Goan culture, with a small trace of Portuguese heritage. Goa Carnival is one of the best festival tours in India. Goa Carnival is a favourite national event and draws tourists worldwide. Some highlights of the festival are as follows:

Goa Carnival Parade

The most attractive event of the Goa festival is the Carnival Parade. This is infact the most eagerly waited celebration of the Carnival. The parades are hosted in 4 cities of Goa – Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa. It is a fun-filled parade of the musicians, jugglers, dancers, clowns, acrobats, brass bands, fire-breathers, jesters and many more such performances. The streets come alive during the parades with the locals and the tourists lined up on each side to have a glimpse of the exhilarating performances. Performers wear incredibly bright costumes with intricate designs and some wear large colourful headdresses. The costumes add more colour and zing to the celebrations and are truly creative works of art. The whole ambience is filled with fun, music, sound and colours, and it is a sight worth witnessing. Ornamented floats are yet another attraction in the parade. These are designed keeping Goan theme, culture, politics, current affairs in mind. Another highlight of the Goan Carnival Parade is the beautifully decorated horse-drawn carriages.

Goa Carnival Traditions

One of the funniest Goa Carnival Traditions is referred as “Assoltes”. People dress up in colourful costumes and prank their friends. Ridiculous folk plays are performed. People do sarcastic plays, and in return, they are treated with food and drinks. Another tradition is to throw kitchen utensils out of the window to the people who joins in the parade. The objective is to clear away old items and clean the houses before the Easter. No one gets hurt in this tradition of throwing utensils!

Playful fights with bright colours

Another fun activity people are indulged into in Goa Carnival is to throw bright colours on each other. People get engaged in playful fights with colour powders just like Holi celebrations. Earlier, people used to play with eggs, dyes, and flour. Thankfully, these have been replaced with colour powders.

Carnival Food

When it comes to festival celebrations, how can you forget about the lip-smacking seafood and meat? This is an added attraction not only for the locals but also for the tourists and foodies. A plethora of Goa exotic dishes are available in front of you to relish your taste buds. There are many varieties of delicious dishes to try.

Shopping paradise

The shops of Goa come alive with a huge array of Goan arts, crafts, clothes and accessories, including mouth-watering foods and drinks. Tourists have great fun collecting souvenirs and gifts in these shops to carry back fun-filled memories.

Red and Black Dance

A special dance called Red and Black Dance is an essential part of Goa Carnival celebrations. This dance performance is held before Fat Tuesday and the last event of the festival. Women wear red tops and black shirts, and men wear red shirts and black pants. There is a beautiful combination of red and black colour co-ordinated males and females dancing to the beats of the musical bands. Ash Wednesday is the last day of the Goa Carnival. So, Red and Black dance is the last exciting event of the carnival. This lively and exhilarating dance is sure to take your breath away because it is altogether an out-of-world experience to see such a dance performance in perfect harmony and colour co-ordination.

For all art lovers, food lovers, tourists and travel freaks, if you have missed Goa Carnival Festival in your travel itinerary, then make a tour plan to Goa immediately. A high street celebration with extravagant dance and music performances across the entire state, along with spectacular parades, bright costumes, music, and large incredible floats, Goa Carnival Festival must be in your travel plans for 2023. Book your tour to Goa for  Goa Carnival 2023 now with the best travel operator in India.  Feasting, merrymaking, and drinking are the ways that tourists and locals enjoy Goa Carnival and it is not to be missed at all. It’s a free entry for all and everyone is welcome with open arms.

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Feb 25 - 28 2023