Goa Tourism/GTDC gets ready for Raindrop Tourism


Image from Sao Joao 2013

Panjim, May 29:   One of the major draws of Goa for tourists during the monsoon season, the annual Sao Joao festival will be celebrated with grandeur and gaiety on June 24, 2015.

Sao Joao is the feast of St John the Baptist celebrated on June 24th, at the very outset of the monsoon season, and   is one of the most famous Goan feasts in the state.
On this day young men around Goa jump into wells to retrieve gifts thrown in by villagers. They get well tanked with feni and do this!
In Siolim, a village in North Goa's Bardez taluka, colourful boat races are organised on this day.
Sao Joao, like any other Goan feast has that captivating spirit of merriment, colour and tradition. People dressed in colourful outfits from several villages meet near a stream front in carnival-coloured boats and floats. It is akin to the Carnival in few ways.
The display of Sangodd, a decorated floating platform made by tying two boats or banana tree trunks together which are then put into nearby streams to float, is an important part of the celebrations.
This feast is celebrated with great fervour and gusto, particularly in Siolim, Anjuna, Candolim, Calangute and Assagao. Getting to any of the main locations for the display of floats is a task for anyone not on foot, with the small roads getting a decade’s share of their traffic. The young and old alike sing and dance to the beat of the ghumot and kansallem, with lovely coronets of seasonal flowers on their heads and ‘drenched to the bone’ with feni.
Villagers begin the day by taking a plunge in the village wells singing ‘Viva Sao Joao’. There are a number of competitions where youths get to exhibit their talents.
On this day, Goa Tourism / Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), also celebrates the annual festival dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
This  year too  gala  events will be   organized  onboard  the  vessel Santa  Monica  on River Mandovi and Destination One at the  GTDC Residency Calangute.
On June    24, 2015, the GTDC has a special cruise   on board Santa   Monica from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm.  A Sao Joao march will be organized   on board with peppy Goan tracks.  The  entertainment will comprise  of  DJ   Music,  various  puppetry shows,   dance  performances, the  umbrella  act and   unique  rain dance with  colourful umbrellas,   local Sao  Joao music  and songs will play all through the  special cruise while unique   games  for  kids will also  be organized.
Traditional games  for adults  like  coconut  breaking will be organized and  cultural  dances like  Fugdi, Nach, Marcha de Fontainhas, Vavradi  dance  and the  Mando will be staged  A buffet  spread  of  Goan delicacies   followed  by the  Splash Dance  and the  selection of  Sao  Joao Fest King and Queen will be held.
There  will be an unique  feature  of the  jumping of    divers  from the  boat into  River Mandovi  to  commemorate  the  same ‘Leap  of  Joy’  that St.  John the Baptist gave in his mother, Elizabeth’s womb when Mary came to greet her.
Sao Joaofestivities will also take place at GTDC’s   Calangute Residency at Destination One restaurant on June 28, 2015.
Similar entertainment   and programmes have been planned.  A  splash into the    sparkling  blue  pool will be the  highlight accompanied  with  music, dance and  other  Sao  Joao  specialities.
Mr. Nilesh Cabral, Chairman of GTDC says, “This year too we welcome tourists from India and abroad to participate in this lively and unique festival and experience our traditional Goan culture. Monsoons in Goa are witness to two major festivals – the Sao Joao and the Bonderam festivals – that offer participants a peep into the traditional Goan culture.”