Carnival celebrations kick off in Goa

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 12:05 PM IST

Panaji: The fervour of the Carnival festival Saturday descended upon Goa, with the traditional float parade going around the streets of the capital.

Thousands of revellers thronged the streets of Panaji as the Carnival parade moved merrily along the picturesque riverside driveway along the Mandovi river, which flanks the city.

Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa`s colonial Portuguese legacy and are organised every year before the holy season of Lent.

The festival, which involves a public celebration in the form of long continuous parades of gaily coloured floats, with masquerade dancers, is led by "King Momo" or king of the carnival.

King Momo, is usually a locally-chosen dignitary. This time round theatre artist Cezar D`Mello has been chosen as the king of celebrations.

Speaking to IANS, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) Chairman Shyam Satardekar said the Carnival festival brings in tourists.

"It`s a great festival. Its all about fun. The carnival is a good occasion for us because a lot of tourists come to Goa to participate in the celebrations," said Satardekar, a Congress legislator.

Carnival float parades will he organised in other important towns in the state namely Margao, Vasco and Mapusa over the next three days.