India Carnivals


In India, the Carnival is celebrated in two states: Goa and Kerala.

Goa (which was a Portuguese colony) has a long tradition of celebrating „Carnivaal” with colorful masks and floats. The city of Loutulim has the largest Carnival which sees merry residents gathered on the streets amid beating of drums and reverberating music. The celebrations run three days culminating in a carnival parade on fat Tuesday. There is participation of a large number of tourists. Dance troupes performed skits before throwing water on each other. After the revelry, song and dance, great food and good wine come together beautifully. After partying, the crowds enjoy a delightful Goan cuisine at a buffet dinner.

When: February, before Easter
Where: Entire Goa
Duration: Three Days
Highlights: Street plays, songs, dances, parades, feasting and merry making

If you want to participate to Goa Carnival, you check here the Goa Travel Tips

In contrast, the state of Kerala has very different celebrations. The festival is called „Raasa” (means fun in Sanskrit and in early malayalam). No masks are worn, but there is music and festivities, sometimes with fireworks.

The Raasas are organized on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday by local catholic churches, and usually culminate in a public mass or a mass conducted in the church.

Even though mostly Syrian or Roman Catholic Christians only take part in Raasa Parade (which is considered the religious part), both Hindus and Muslims join to watch and join the public mass by Christians in the festivities.

There is no food at the end of the celebration but there are fireworks organized by some churches. People however offer half boiled or raw rice for the „Chembeduppu” ceremony in large copper vessels („Chembu”) kept at the Church. The copper vessels carrying the half-boiled rice were taken out in a Raasa procession by the faithfuls with traditional Church orchestra playing the accompaniment.

The golden and the silver cross as well as the Papal and Catholicate flags were also taken out with the Raasa procession. (the Source: Wikipedia)