Soaked in carnival fest, tourists take over Goa
Feb 12 2013 , Pune
Annual fun-filled event boosts brand image
“Over 50,000 Goans and tourists from India and overseas thronged the capital city of Panaji on Saturday to celebrate the grand unique Goa Carnival,” Ralph de Souza, spokesman of travel and tourism association of Goa told Financial Chronicle on the last day of the mega festival. There was a surge of tourists to Goa, he said.
He also said the carnival, started during the Portugal rule, was celebrated with colourful parades, food festivals, street dances in all the major cities of Panaji, Margao, Mapusa, Vasco and Ponda in turns, where thousands of revellers danced to vivacious music along the parade route.
Bedecked in regal costumes of red and gold and flanked by his attractive consorts, the carnival’s mock monarch King Momo in each of these cities ordered his "subjects" to observe three days of fun and frolic with food, drink and dances. Traditionally, the monarch's edict is valid for three days and ends just before Ash Wednesday on February 13, when the Christian penitential season of Lent begins.
“It was a riot of colour, costume, music and dance, as gaily decorated over 80 carnival floats rolled down capital city Panaji along the banks of the Mandovi River,” Rajesh Kale, assistant director of Goa tourism department said. He said about over Rs 4 crore were spent on the event, which will boost tourism.
“The 23,000 rooms in the one-to-five star category in the organised and over 12,000 rooms in the unorganised sector were fully booked,” De Souza said.
He said the event has already hyped and boosted brand Goa as a top holiday destinations in India. “Tourism will reap rich dividends throughout the year,” De Souza said.
Kale said for the first time a Bollywood float participated in the Goa Carnival featuring starlets Neha Dhupia, Tanushree Dutta, Sagarika Ghatge and others.
“The floats parade blended noble themes with the comic, weird and bizarre and foreigners gave the festival an international colour,” Savio Noronha, head of FM Rainbow Channel, All India Radio, Goa, said.
He said this year the state saw the return of good old colourful carnival festivities from traditional to spectacular floats, the pulsating music which drove the dancers wild. “The spectators and tourists took away with them a memorable piece of Goa,” Noronha said.