To see Goa at the peak of its festivities is during the carnival celebrations. This festival is more like an extravaganza of pageantry, music and colour as each of the main towns in the state hosts its own impressive parade of beautiful floats. As the floats wind their way through the streets accompanied by lively dancers moving in rhythm to the lilting music, the parade is a sight to behold. The festival is a legacy of several hundred years of Portuguese rule. While some consider it to be a relic of ancient pagan rituals honouring the gods of fertility, nature and wine, others consider it a festival that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The three-day festivities begin on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday which usually falls in late February or in the first fortnight of March. The first parade is held in Panjim followed by pageants in the other cities. Atop the main float is King Momo, the mock king of revelry and chaos who presides over the festivities. As King Momo and his entourage all attired in colourful costume pass by, they wave to the crowds who respond with enthusiastic cheers and shouts of ‘Viva Carnaval!’
Timings for Goa Carnival (Carnaval - Portuguese)
It is a 3 day festival held in February or March.