Different empires like Satavahanas, Mauryas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Kadambas, Yadavas, Deccan Sultanates and finally Portuguese ruled Goa at various times, therefore it possesses a rich legacy of an amalgamation of various cultures. The various fairs and festivals reflect this unique characteristic of Goa giving them a distinct flavour.
The quiet Divar Island comes to life with this festival with music, dance and a carnival like ambience. It is celebrated in the month of August in memory of the protests carried out by the villagers against the unjust policies of the Portuguese regarding land ownership issues. Each section of the village has its own float which contributes to the colour and gaiety of the festival.
This festival is celebrated over a period of four days and is popular among all as it is full of gaiety and colour with music and dance accompanied by a colourful parade of floats and drum beats. The Goa Carnival started in the year 1961 by King Momo, and is distinctly Portugese. It is held before the period of Lent and the entire state is decked up and plays host to the multitudes who come from various parts of the world to take part in the Carnival.
Goa Heritage Festival
It is organised by the Government along with the Heritage group and the department of tourism to preserve and promote the culture and heritage of Goa. Works of art are displayed by various artisans along with performances by various artistes on stage in open areas. A five day festival organised in January, the Heritage Festival showcases the craftsmanship of the indigenous artists.
This festival is organised by Goa tourism Corporation which includes wine tasting sessions along with live shows and music extravagances.
This is celebrated in the month of March to welcome the spring season and is a festival of colour and joy. Various dance troupes perform folk dances accompanied by music.
It is a seven day festival celebrated at the Damodar temple to seek Divine grace and guidance against evil spirits and illnesses. A coconut is ceremoniously placed with elaborate rites and rituals after replacing the one placed the previous year.
Along with these festivals a number of famous Christian festivals and music festivals are celebrated every year adding to the enhancement of the culture of Goa.