Goa is the place to be in the month of December, not just for the awesome chilly climate but it’s the buzzing month of activities that happen in the holiday season and the festivities start from the beginning of the winter months and go on till the end of summers. You can witness the big influx of tourists and the vibrant decorations during the month of December; the place is like one big carnival party.
The month of December starts with the Feast of St. Francis Xavier on 3rd December in Old Goa. This is the resting place of the saint whose body is still preserved in the glass coffin venerated by thousands of people all over the world during the exposition. The day is declared as public holiday and the novenas start a month in advance and culminate on 3rd with the high mass. The next feast is the Panjim church feast on 8th December of the Immaculate Conception church of Mother Mary. The beautiful church shown in many movies and most photographed site in Goa is decorated for the festivities and filled with church goers on this day. A must visit to the fair outside these churches to pick the choicest handicrafts, sweets and many such local products.
A place for music, dance, food from all over the world and the rows of small shops that sell everything from jewellery to music and artifacts etc by locals and foreigners is the bright colourful Saturday Night Market. The music starts at dusk and goes on till the wee hours in the morning. The food stalls have lip smacking dishes to choose from French pancakes, to Belgian waffles and Goa’s own variety of seafood and meat. The best of jewellery and clothes are on display you can bargain for a price.
19th December marks the day Goa was liberated from the Portuguese way back in 1961. Every school and government office has to hoist the flag and the main parade addressed by the Chief Minister of Goa is at the Campal Parade ground open to anyone who wants to take part in it. The officials also pay homage to Goa’s freedom fighters and the Indian Navy. Many schools hold their annual gatherings and other programs on this day.
The whole world celebrates Christmas on 25th December with the high mass the previous night. Every church and catholic homes have Christmas tree decorations and cribs. You can buy the readymade cribs and trees available in one of the many streets of Goa which display a lot of glittery and fancy items. Everyone irrespective of its religion takes part in the Christmas festivities of the place with lots of food, sweets and wine options.
Dancing is Goa’s way of celebrating life and what better way to explore your talents then to be part of the Christmas and New Year dances in Goa. So get in your dancing shoes and put on your best clothes and head to the open air traditional dances in almost every part of Goa. With lots of prizes to win and the best music playing all night long you can never get bored of the tapping feet and clapping hands crowd.
Peak season of Goa is special for weddings where the family gets together to celebrate the couple’s new life. You can get an invite to see a wedding at the church and be part of many family traditions. Goa is now a hub for destination weddings and the dates are booked a year in advance not to miss the best place to choose from. The celebrations go on till late at night and people just dance without any reservations.
Goa’s beach shacks and the susegad attitude is a bustling hub of merry making and the fun just does not stop there. There are beach parties to attend, the serendipity month long art festival and cruising on the boat. After the hectic day time to rest and lazy around on the beach and eat some good food on the shacks.