Goa Carnival

What is the Goa Carnival?

The carnival was introduced by the Portuguese in Goa in 1922. The three-day festival was initially celebrated by Christians, but has now absorbed Hindu traditions and has turned into a grand annual pageant.

The area was transformed into a ‘fairy land’ and a colorful procession featuring horse-drawn carriages, decorated bullock carts and gorgeously bedecked floats were the highlights.

People celebrated by singing and dancing all through the nights and everyone participated, there were no spectators. Today the main road in Panjim has the procession going through with colorful floats and groups of people dancing and singing as they move along.

Normally each segment has a particular theme. A tall, fat man dresses up as King Momo (or the King of Chaos) and he presides over the carnival and distributes prizes to various

What is a Goa carnival party?

It is a fun party with music and dance, games and activities.

The music should be Goan and it is fun if the dancing begins with a traditional Goan number. Maybe the hosts or some preselected guest could learn a few steps of the dance and lead the others in. then of course it can become a regular dance party.

You can have a few games like ‘Find Your Partner’ or ‘Newspaper Dance’ or even get a best dancer or best costume competition organized. King Momo can give away the prizes!

What kind of clothes should be worn?

King Momo is the main person so the host or a designated friend can dress as the King. He wears an ornate crown, a long flowing robe with a sash and cape.

The clothes for guests could be any fancy dress: flounced and tiered skirts, satin shirts and trousers, koli dresses, masks, feathered headdresses, but anything bright and quirky and fun will do just as well.

What is the décor for a Goa Carnival Party?

Make space for the dancing. Make the room look bright and cheerful with large vases and flowers, carnival masks, buntings and balloons and colored lights.

What should be the menu?


Stuffed Papad

Main Course
Tamarind &
Coconut Fish
Pork Vindaloo
Chicken Cafreal /Mushroom Cafreal
Vegetable Caldine
Drumsticks Flower Cutlets
Goan Bread,
Prawn Balchao as pickle

Goan Coconut Pancake

Feni the Goan drink made from cashew nuts is popular and can be used for several cocktails as a base but any other drinks from the bar will be fine. Goans have their own wines, especially a Port wine which is good for serving after dinner.

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