There is no denying that fun, celebrations, festivals and the state of Goa go hand in hand. And, the epitome of the same is the festival of Christmas which lights up the entire state like a starry night, making Goa look even more enchanting.
Although Christmas is celebrated all over the world, the way Goa does it is something different and fun to be a part of. In fact, in India, there is no better place to see the real charm and enthusiasm of the festival other than this small but incredible state.
The reason why, out of all the Indian states, Goa is the where Christmas is celebrated with the most gusto is that it is a Christian dominated place courtesy its colonial past. People from all around the country arrive here to witness Christmas celebrations that continue until the new year.
Observed on December 25 every year, Christmas is a Christian festival that celebrates the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. People start commemorating the festival a day before Christmas, December 24, which is known as Christmas Eve.
The next day is Christmas which is the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ while the following day, December 26, is known as boxing day. During these three days of festivities, people prepare exotic meals, special Christmas cakes, decorate their homes with Christmas trees and give gifts to their dear ones.
Besides showering gifts to their loved ones, people also visit churches to offer prayers and thank God for helping mankind.
The Portuguese invaded Goa in the 15th century and during that time only, the saints also accompanied them. They were the ones who taught people about Christianity and built many churches in Goa as well to promote the same.
Portuguese stayed in Goa for a very long time and influenced the lifestyle, culture and local food of Goa. Basilica of Bom Jesus, one of the oldest churches of India located in Goa, is the hub of all the festivities.
1. Basilica of Bom Jesus. Special prayers are conducted in this church which is attended by all the devotees. Besides prayers, special feasts and exhibitions are also organised in Basilica of Bom Jesus. The church bells, the cakes, the music, the ambiance, everything is worth witnessing. The western essence blended in this Indian state is what makes Christmas special and unique here.
2. Lights and Fireworks. Fireworks in Goa are another highlight of the Christmas celebration. During the celebrations of Christmas in Goa, the churches are decorated with fancy lights until the new year. People from across the country arrive here to capture these special fireworks and decorations in their cameras.
3. Feast and Fun. A major part of the celebration of the Christmas festival in India focuses on feasting and having fun with friends and family. People go out for dinner and spend the day visiting churches and shopping. The restaurants in every part of the country prep up in advance to serve delicious cakes and exotic traditional recipes to people on this special day.
Christmas is observed all around the world but the celebrations for Christmas in Goa have a separate charm. The state of Goa is known for its party culture and Christmas celebrations in the state are no less than any other Christian-dominated country.
Panaji, which is also known as Panjim, is the capital of Goa and the hub of all celebrations. It can easily be reached via air, road or rail. Listed below are some best routes that you may consider if planning a visit to Goa.
By Road. If you are planning to reach Goa by road then you are required to cover approx. 1,800, 600, 2,200 and 550 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. One may also travel via inter-state tourist buses. One way fare from Mumbai to Goa starts from Rs.550, from Pune Rs.550, and from Mahabaleshwar Rs.700. The price may go up to Rs.2000 in case you choose luxury buses. Another option is to drive to the state via the motorable national and state highways. Listed below are the some best routes that you may take if arriving from nearby prominent cities.
By Train. Madgaon railway station in Goa is one of the major railway stations in the state. Trains from all metro cities of India arrive here hence one may consider traveling by train if looking for a budget-friendly and comfortable travel option. Listed below are some direct trains that you may consider if planning for a train journey.
By Air. Dabolim airport is the nearest airport to reach Goa. There are regular and frequent flights to Goa from all parts of the country. All the major airlines such as AirIndia, IndiGo, SpiceJet, AirAsia, GoAir and Vistara run direct and connecting flights to Goa from all the metro and prominent cities and states of India. From Dabolim airport, one may take a taxi to travel to the desired destination in the state.