Ever wondered how Goans celebrate the arrival of the monsoon? Sao Joao, a vibrant festival in North Goa, marks this joyous occasion. As spring turns to summer, the atmosphere buzzes with excitement, joy, and hope. This festival, celebrated by Catholics, honours St. John. It's unique because people, especially young men, dive into wells seeking hidden treasures. It's a tradition that brings the community together during the rainy season's start.
Sao Joao happens in June, inviting everyone, regardless of age, to join in. People jump into wells, ponds, and lakes, making it a lively and inclusive event. In Siolim, a village in Bardez, thrilling boat races are a major highlight. While North Goa buzzes with enthusiasm, the festival in South Goa, particularly in Anjuna and Candolim, is more subdued yet equally heartfelt.
Sao Joao Feast of St John The Baptist | Date, Venue, & Tickets
The Sao Joao Feast of St John The Baptist festival is celebrated every year on 24th June in Siolim Village in North Goa. The grand celebrations of this event are held at Fernandes and St Anthony’s Church. The event is open for all and people of all ages gather to celebrate it with full gusto and enthusiasm. The excitement of this event can also be noticed in nearby areas like Calangute, Anjuna, Assagao, and Candolim.
History Of Sao Joao Feast Of St John The Baptist
Sao Joao Feast in Goa is a tribute to the great St. John the Baptist. St. John, with reference to Holy Scriptures, danced with excitement in his mother’s womb, when the news came out about the birth of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist further went on to immerse Lord Jesus in the Jordan River to baptize him. Hence, the “well” is known to be a symbol of his mother’s womb, and “diving” into it symbolizes joy on the occasion of the auspicious birth of the baby. This feast is celebrated a few months before Christmas, which is on December 25 and is fondly remembered as Christ’s birthday.
Major Attractions Of Sao Joao Feast In Goa
Sao Joao Feast in Goa is peppered with a lot of attractions and interesting activities that keep youngsters and elders suitably occupied. The excitement of the onlookers is also at an all-time high when the youngsters jump in nearby water bodies to look for treasures thrown by the villagers. Besides enjoying the event, here are the other major attractions worth visiting and enjoying.
1. Resorts and Spas
Just a couple of minutes away from Candolim Beach lies Novotel Goa Resort and Spa which is one of the finest luxury hotels in all of Goa. Opt for a relaxing massage at the Spa. Dance to great music at the poolside and feast on the popular seafood at local restaurants.
2. Fruits and Drinks
A spirit manufactured only in Goa known as Feni is famous during this feast. Newly married couples and those with newborns come together with treasures of seasonal fruits like mangoes, pineapples, jackfruit, and tons of Feni bottles. You may also be able to find a unique Goan dish called Patoleo placed in every bridal bowl. This sweet is prepared using rice flour and fresh leaves and can be large just like the banana leaves. It is then mixed with coconut and even jaggery at the center and steam cooked. During the daytime young people are found wearing pretty crowns carved out of fruit and beautiful leaves locally known as ‘Kopels’.
3. Colourful Parades
People visiting this festival take out colourful parades across the stress of Siolim village and nearby areas. The view of this parade passing through the streets is nothing less than spectacular. While taking out the parade, the participants sing religious hymns and Mando. The highlights of the parade is Sangodd and people who participate in the event are dressed differently making themselves easily identifiable from the crowd.
A variety of competitions are held during this time, giving youngsters a chance to show their adventurous streak. All these competitions are organised to keep the spirits of the participants high.
How To Reach Goa For Sao Joao Feast of St John The Baptist
Sao Joao Festival is celebrated in the fabulous city of Panaji. The beautiful city of Panaji is easy to get to from every part of the country through any form of transportation such as roads, rails, and air. Since Goa is one of the major tourist attractions in the country, it is easily accessible from different parts of the country and international cities. Here are the details of transportation using which you can easily reach your destination.
Flights are much more comfortable as compared to other means of transport and tend to save a lot of time and energy. The nearest airport here is the Dabolim Airport which is also the only international airport in all of Goa.
Distance From Dabolim Airport. 49.5 Km
Train journeys are much safer than other means of transportation. Trains are faster and economically viable because they offer a wide range of options according to your budget and convenience. The nearest railbase to reach Siolim is Siolim Railway Station. Passengers can also arrive at Karmali Railway Station.
Distance From Karmali Railway Station.30 Km
In order to get the most recent updates on a destination, it is always good to travel by road. Road trips help advance your knowledge and information about the destination you are travelling to. You can also discover the untold stories of the place by befriending a local. If you wish to opt for a road trip to Panaji from nearby cities then you can check out the following routes.
Sao Joao embodies the spirit of Goan culture – a blend of fun, faith, and community. It's a time for joyous celebrations, daring dives, and friendly competitions, reflecting the local ethos of unity and happiness. Whether plunging into wells or cheering on boat races, Sao Joao offers a unique glimpse into Goa's rich traditions and vibrant community life.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Sao Joao Feast Of St John The Baptist
Ques 1. What is the significance of the Sao Joao Feast Of St John The Baptist?
Ans 1. Sao Joao Feast Of St John The Baptist is celebrated every year on 24th June amidst a lot of fun, excitement, and gaiety. On this day, the birthday of St John The Baptist by the ardent devotees. Another highlight of this festival is that it is celebrated three months after the feast of the annunciation on 25th March.
Ques 2. What are the highlights of Sao Joao Feast Of St John The Baptist?
Ans 2. Sao Joao Feast in Goa is peppered with a lot of attractions and interesting activities that keep youngsters and elders suitably occupied. The excitement of the onlookers is also at an all-time high when the youngsters jump in nearby water bodies to look for treasures thrown by the villagers.
Ques 3: Where is the Sao Joao Feast predominantly celebrated?
Ans 3: The Sao Joao Feast is mainly celebrated in North Goa, particularly in villages like Siolim, Anjuna, and Candolim. Here, the festival is marked with greater enthusiasm and more vibrant festivities compared to other parts of Goa.
Ques 4: Are there any specific traditions followed during the Sao Joao Feast?
Ans 4: Yes, one key tradition is the "well jumping" where young men leap into wells, ponds, or lakes, symbolising joy and respect for St. John the Baptist. Also, boat races and the wearing of colourful crowns made from flowers and leaves, known as 'Kopel', are significant traditions of this feast.
Ques 5: What is the best way for tourists to experience the Sao Joao Feast?
Ans 5: Tourists can best experience the Sao Joao Feast by visiting North Goa during the celebration. Participating in or watching the well jumps, enjoying the boat races in Siolim, and experiencing the local music, dance, and food offer a complete cultural immersion into this unique festival.
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