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Sao Joao, one of Goa’s most popular festivals is on June 24 and is celebrated with much fun and frolic in the entire state. If you are in Goa around this time, you can be a part of the festivities and soak in the spirit of the festival the entire day. If however you don’t really know much about it, here are five essential things you should know about Sao Joao. Also Read - Unlock 1 in Goa: Hand Sanitisers For Domestic Helps, Vigilance Team Inside Office Premises: Here's List of Guidelines For Housing Societies, Educational Institutions And Offices

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1. It is the feast of Saint John the Baptist

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One of the most popular monsoon festivals, Sao Joao is the feast of St John who was the one who baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. Did you know he was also Jesus’ cousin?

2. It involves jumping into a water body

This tradition is an important one as the story goes that when St John heard the news that Jesus will be born, he was in his mother’s womb and he jumped with joy. This is called leap of joy and the jump in well or a pond signifies jumping in joy hearing about Jesus’ birth just like the saint.

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

3. Drinking feni is an integral part of the festival

Feni which is a local Goan spirit made of cashew or palm is also a big part of the celebration. People drink it before they jump in the well. This local drink is only produced in Goa so if you are here, do try it.

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4. Sao Joao is just like a carnival

Goa is known for its carnivals and this festival is also like one. People wear colorful outfits and are out on the streets or gather near the well to cheer for those jumping. The entire state is in a festive mood.

5. North Goa celebrates it with much pomp

If you want a taste of Sao Joao, head to north Goa especially to Anjuna, Candolim, Calangute where it is celebrated with much fervor. Boats are decorated and float on the water as part of the celebrations. South Goa does not celebrate it with the same enthusiasm so it is better to experience it in the northern part. festivals-and-celebrations

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