Goa Carnival

18 February 2023 - 21 February 2023


Panaji, Goa

26°C / Clouds

The small yet fun celebration of Goa Carnival is known by several names like Carnaval, Intruz, Viva Carnival, and Entrada. Although significantly less popular and smaller than its international counterparts of Rio and Portuguese carnivals, this exciting event celebrated in Goa doesn’t fail to turn the heads of the tourists and locals alike. Due to its incredible vibe and feels, it successfully manages to attract hundreds and thousands of tourists annually, especially after its revival in 1965. 

It won’t be wrong to say that the Goa Carnival is a legacy of Portuguese rule and has grown from being a somewhat quiet event to a full-blown exciting celebration over the years. The whole atmosphere is filled with spectacular parades, musical events, delicious delicacies, and whatnot. 

Best Time to Visit Vibrant Goa Carnival

When visiting Goa, you can look forward to enjoying a series of celebrations. The fun never seems to stop here. Goa Carnival usually takes place in the end of February or the first week of March. Its a four-day razzmatazz that attracts throngs of local and international tourists. The weather is perfect for colourful and musical festivities. 

History of Goa Carnival

The roots of this Carnival date back to the introduction of Roman Catholic traditions which further date back to the Portuguese conquest of Goa. Some also believe that this event is being celebrated since the 18th century and has only grown bigger and better over the years. However, as Portuguese rule ended in Goa, this festival was resurrected in 1965 by a man named Timoteo Fernandes. 

According to the local tradition of Goa Carnival, all of Goa is taken over by an imaginary character King Momo who is usually a local resident and rules Goa while the whole event lasts. The message which the character of King Momo wants to spread is “Kha, piye aani maza kar” which literally translates into eat, drink and make merry. It’s as if the whole Goa comes alive during the event and for anyone who is looking to have a blast then this carnival is for you. 

Major Attractions Of Goa Carnival 

1. Parade

The parade for the event starts on Saturday evening and is led by the made-up character of King Momo. Loaded with balloons, floats, bullock carts, horse carriages the parade hits the home run amongst the locals and tourists. Apart from this, one can also relish the live music performances graced by the power-packed performances of the dancers, jesters, and fire-breathers. 

2. Art and Culture Shows

In its essence, the Goa Carnival is all about enjoying and merry-making. Apart from all this, you can also enjoy the art and cultural shows held locally. 

3. Delicious Food

If you are a foodie, then you are bound to love this carnival. Here you get to relish your senses with a great variety of food items. And with the occasion of this carnival, all the restaurants and hotels put their extra efforts to make the food more peppy and delightful. 

4. Red and Black Dance

It is on the last day of the Carnival that this unique Red and Black dance is held to delight the tourists. It is basically a colour coordinated dance which sees women dressed in red coloured tops and black skirts, while the men usually dress in red shirts as well as black pants. It is truly an exciting experience to watch the artist perform with great precision. 

Places to Visit When Attending Goa Carnival

Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort is a magnificent and imposing structure known for its beautiful ambiance. Its sets perched atop a hillock overlooking River Mandovi. The impressive and gorgeous red-brown laterite ramparts can be seen from afar. It is a lovely sport, perfect for taking selfies. 

Chapora Fort

It is a beautiful fort with a rich historical past. This fort shot to popularity when a few scenes of the famous cult movie, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ was picturised here. Enjoy sweeping views of magnificent Goa in all its amazing glory. 

Bom Jesus Basilica

This church is an epitome of Baroque architectural style and its magnificent beauty. Basalt embellishments look very impressive and the fine detailing of the structure takes you back to the olden times when magnificent churches were built. 

Church of St. Francis of Assissi

It is an elaborately designed, truly grand church. The church worships Mother Mary. The statue of Mother Mary is installed in the front of the church. 

Saturday Night Market

When visiting Goa, plan a trip to its popular flea market where you can get your hands on unique creations like jewellery, mementoes, leather items, vintage items and many more goodies. 

Gorgeous Beaches

Goa is a land of white sandy beaches bordered with tall swaying palm trees. Every beach is different and has something unique to offer. Some of the main beaches worth exploring in Goa are Anjuna Beach, Calangute Beach, Candolim Beach, Baga Beach, Sinquerim Beach and more. 

Chorao Island

It is one of the largest islands in Goa. It used to be the settlement of ancient Portuguese Noblemen. Today, this place is dotted with ancient villas and churches. 

Archives Museum

This popular Goa museum is located at the Patto Plaza, Panaji. It houses more than eight thousand glorious artefacts. History buffs would love to explore this museum at a leisurely pace. 

How To Reach Panaji For Goa Carnival 

Goa Carnival is one of the most awaited events in Goa. It attracts thousands of revellers who enjoy the festivities. Gia is well connected with domestic and national destinations. It is very easy to reach Panaji, the capital of Goa. It is well-connected by air, rail, and road modes of transportation. 

  • Nearest Airport. Goa International Airport/ Dabolim Airport
  • Distance from Airport. 46.3 Km

By Air

Deboard at the Dabolim Airport (GOI) situated about 25 km away from Panjim. The airport has very good flight connectivity with other Indian cities with good frequency. From the airport, book a cab or take some other means of transportation to reach your destination. 

By Train

If planning to travel by train then you can consider deboarding at Madgaon, Vasco Da Gama, Karmali railway stations at your convenience. All of these stations have fairly good connectivity with other Indian cities. After deboarding at one of the stations, book a taxi to reach your destination. 

  • Nearest Railway Station. Margao. 30 KM
  • Nearest Railway Station. Vaso-Da-Gama. 50 Km

By Road

Goa also has been well-connected with other Indian cities via a motorable network of highways and roads. You can book state-run buses or private buses to reach here. Otherwise, you can also book a taxi or take your own vehicle here. 

  • Distance From Hubli - 190 km via NH748
  • Distance From Dandeli - 131 km via NH748
  • Distance From Belgaum - 114 km via SH31

By Sea

From Mumbai, you can also take a cruise or a ferry to reach here. However, it would be good to make your bookings as early as possible owing to the busy schedule of all the transportation services during this time of the year.

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.


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