In case you missed the New Year celebrations in Goa this winter, there’s more coming right up. Goa Carnival is an annual affair where the culture and cuisine of Goa is celebrated on a grand scale. This year it’s happening from March 2 – 5, and make sure you’re a part of it. Goa Carnival or the Mardi Gras revelry is a tradition that dates back to the arrival of Portuguese in Goa way back in 1510.

This four day razzmatazz is observed with great gusto and zeal all through out the state. Goa Carnival features a frenzy of activities, and you can easily be a part of them. Travellers get to indulge in feasting, merrymaking, drinking throughout the day. The festive mood is accentuated by the huge parades that move through the various streets of Goa. The parades are accompanied by live bands and dances; the city doesn’t sleep during the carnival as these parades continue throughout the night. The streets are decked up with lights and accessories, making the whole of Goa look like one big party.

During the carnival dancing troupes and revellers wear masks and elaborate costumes; and the whole scene is abuzz with electrifying music which is generally performed live and sports competitions. It’s an important festival also because it marks the climax of peak season of tourism in Goa. The hotels are packed to their capacity and the prices are at an all time high.

If you are looking to attend the Goa Carnival, it’s highly recommended that you make all your bookings in advance. It’s so packed that it’s extremely difficult to get anything on spot. Keep an eye out for the carnival specialty which is the one-act folk play (also known as Khell or Fell) known for its cutting edge and sarcastic criticism aimed at correcting human follies; usually comic in nature. A riot of sound from violins, drums, cymbals, ghumats (a Goan percussion instrument), saturate the air when the play is on.