Goa carnival begins March 5

Updated: Feb 12, 2011, 09:17 AM IST

Panaji: Goa`s four-day carnival fiesta, which will see thousands taking to the streets to the tune of music, will kick off March 5, Panaji Mayor Carolina Po announced Friday.

Po said a committee had been set up to organise the festival.

"Preparations are in full swing. Various cultural programmes are being chalked out. The famous King Momo`s Parade will be held March 5 in Panaji with great pomp and fervour," Po said.

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

Lent is the 40-day period starting from Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter Sunday, during which many Christians observe fasting, repentance and moderation in an effort at spiritual renewal.

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

King Momo is usually a locally chosen dignitary who is given a key to the city.