The Shigmo festival is a five-day cultural event that takes place in the Konkan region of Goa. Commonly known as Holi in the other regions of India, Shigmo is celebrated during the spring season. This auspicious occasion for Hindus celebrates the vibrancy of colors which goes on for five days.
The Hindus celebrate the festival by building and painting elaborate murals and idols depicting old folklores and scenes from Hindu Mythology. Dance performances are organized by the local groups dressed in shiny and flashy traditional costumes. The float parade is the main attraction of the Shigmo festival. The festive energy that surrounds the Konkani region of Goa during the festival attracts tourists from India and beyond as it envelopes the whole area with its playful celebrations of colors.
Date Of Shigmo Festival
Shigmo Festival is celebrated in the month of Phagun (March), starting from the 9th Moon day to the full-moon day. The festival will begin with the Naman (song) and the collective acknowledgement of the villagers. On the first day of the festival, the priest will bathe the village deity and dress the idol in saffron robes. On the 5th day, the ‘Rang Panchami’ will begin. 5th day is celebrated with ample use of Gulal or powdered colors.
The villagers smear colors on each other in a playful way. On the 11th and 15th day, the villagers dress up in vibrant and flashy costumes, carry flags, beat the drums, and blow the flutes as they assemble at the village temples. They perform many folk dances like Ghode-Morni, Talgadi, Hanpet, Lamp dance, Gopha, Rommatamel, and 'Fugdi' as part of the festivities.
History of Shigmo Festival
The Shigmo Festival of Goa is celebrated in the Phalguna month according to the Saka calendar of the Hindu community. This auspicious occasion occurs every year around March. The Phalguna month is related to the lunar calendar and hence the date changes every year. The word “Shigmo” is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Sugrishmaka’ and the Prakrit word ‘Suggimaho’. There are two versions of the Shigmo festival, the DhaktoShigmo, and the Vhadlo Shigmo. The Dhakto Shigmo is celebrated by the labor class, rural population, and farmers, whereas the Vhdl Shigmo is celebrated by everyone.
The Shigmo festival is celebrated all over India but with different names. The most common version of Shigmo is the Holi festival which is celebrated in North India, it is known as Dolyatra in Assam and Bengal, in South India it is called Kamadahan and it is known as Shimga in Maharashtra. The Puranic legends hold the origin of the festival. According to one such legend, Prahlad’s aunt Holika provoked her brother Hiranyakashapu to inflict torture on Prahlad to stop him from chanting the name of Lord Vishnu. And then, Holika was chased by the people and finally burnt to death. Other folklore suggests that the Shigmo festival is celebrated to commemorate the death of Putana by Lord Krishna.
Highlights of Shigmo Festival
The major attractions of the Shigmo Festival are dance performances organized by the farmers and rural class at night in the remote villages of Goa. The other main focus of the festival is the parade which highlights many painted Hindu idols and folklores depicting the scenes from ancient mythology and tales.
Everyone is covered in colors as they put colors on each other and bask in the festivities of the new season.
How To Reach Shigmo Festival
Shigmo festival in Goa has gained popularity by preserving the Konkani culture and promoting it by putting up spectacular dance performances and parades by the villagers. Goa is well connected by the other cities of India and the world which is located at an approximate distance of 1,875, 585, 2,200 from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Here’s how you can reach Goa via the following routes.
You can easily catch a flight to Goa from different Indian cities. Goa International Airport is the major airport of Goa. This airport is operated by the Airport Authority of India primarily as a Civil Enclave.
Airlines like Go Air, IndiGo, Air India, Vistara operate to and fro this airport from cities like Agra, Jaipur, Delhi, and many others.
After deboarding at the airport, you will need to travel the remaining distance by cab or by local bus. Goa has very extensive public transportation like buses and cabs which connect the towns and villages within the boundaries of Goa. Thus, traveling within Goa would be quite a hassle-free experience for you.
Goa can be traveled via well-maintained road networks. Follow the below route to easily reach Goa.
You can also board the interstate buses to reach here. Kadamba Transport Corporation - The government of Goa provides punctual bus services to and fro nearby towns and villages.
Goa has mainly two major railway stations one is known as Madgaon and the other is known as Vasco da Gama. Both of these train stations are located in south Goa.
However, the Madgaon Railway Station is the primary train station. This station comes under the Karwar Railway Region of the Konkan Railways in Goa. One of the best features of this station is that it offers free Wi-Fi connectivity. Here is how you can reach Goa by train:
After you deboard at the station, you can easily take public transportation like a bus or a private taxi to travel to your desired destination.
FAQs About Shigmo Festival
Q. Why is the Shigmo Festival celebrated?
Ans - Shigmo Festival is a festival of colors just like Holi in north India. This festival is celebrated in the month of ‘Falgun’ as per Saka calendar.
Q. Where is Shigmo celebrated?
Ans - Also known as Shigmotsav, Shigmo Festival is a spring festival which is celebrated in Konkan region of Goa.
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