The Shigmotsav festival is among the most popular festivals in Goa. It is quite similar to the festival of Holi which is celebrated throughout India. The festival is celebrated by the Hindus for close to two weeks. The Goan Hindu traditions are on full display during the duration of this festival. It is celebrated to mark the start of spring while bidding farewell to winter. During the many days of the festival, the Hindus usually abstain from non-vegetarian food as well as alcohol. The festival was traditionally celebrated as spring’s biggest festival. It also honoured the homecoming of the warriors who had bid farewell to their homes and families just after the end of Dusshera to fight the invaders.

This famous Hindu festival is characterized by a good amount of colours, music, dance and floats. The festival authentically depicts the Goan culture through elaborate folk performances by local men and women who never tire when performing dance sequences in huge processions which accompany a parade.

Portuguese language is widely spoken in Goa.

Travel Tips

Since the festival lasts for a fortnight, tourists who want to visit Goa during this time are advised to commence with their travel arrangements at least 3 months prior. Also, staying near the areas which celebrate the festival is recommended as one can then truly enjoy everything the festival has to offer. Tourists are also advised to exercise extreme caution where their belongings are concerned especially if they decide to visit the numerous fairs and parades which are held during this period.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
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Things to do

The parade usually begins with much fanfare and pomp as the Goan people come out in full force, dressed in colourful outfits while holding multi coloured flags and playing large musical instruments which include the Dhol Tasha and flutes in processions across the many cities in Goa. The larger-than-life celebration add a touch of magic and fantasy while also incorporating folk to form a perfect blend which is then depicted on the floats that parade down the streets.

Traditional folk dances like Ghode Modni and Fugdi are performed on streets in massive troupes along the procession, showcasing the tradition of Goa. The shimmering floats with extensive lighting and sound effects move along with the parade gripping the attention of a huge crowd that aligns the streets of Goa.

This festival of colour and mythology gives way for the masses to come together and bring in the most colourful season, Spring. The streets of Goa during Shigmotsav are lit up with attractive décor, lively parades, delicious Goan delicacies, music and dance performances. This revelry, celebration and merriment is not something to miss out on.

Getting Around

Goa has plenty of public and private options for travel, depending upon the budget and preferences. Hired transport options include pe-booked taxis, auto-rikshaws, taxi bikes or pilot cars, scootys and bicycle rentals, as well as privately booked chauffeur driven cars.

Places to Stay

The heritage inn hotels are the citys best way to absorb the Panjim atmosphere. Among the other hotels there are happening bar and a spectacular view of the river and the sea from its upper floor.

How to Reach

  • Located at 29kms of Panaji, the Dabolim airport has different flights that operates between Dabolim to all other major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi and Thiruvanathapuram
  • Part of the Konkan railway network, there are different trains that operates between Panaji and major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The next nearest railway station at 30kms is Vasco da Gama
  • There are several buses that plies from the neighbouring states to Goa. The main bus terminal is known as Kadamba. You will also get different private operators to different destinations.

Surrounding Attractions

If you are interested for a swim, there a beaches a plenty, and for those who wish to take a small trek, can also walk around in the nearby hills.

Other than Christmas, the carnival season is another such time when Goa comes alive and it is best to be there.

Altinho hill is at the centre of Panjim, and rises gently from the river and sea fronts. It was originally a long ridge called Oiteiro de Conecao or Hill of Conception. The tree-lined heights and quiet winding lanes of Altinho offer spectacular views of the city and its waterfront.

Joggers park laid out with a jogging trasck and pretty landscaping. The Jogger's park has two main roads leading away from it. The one is going east takes you to Bhatlem and Mala and a Maruti temple which is lit up at night.

Emergency No.

Police: 100

Fire brigade: 101

Ambulance: 102