December is the month when people from all nooks, especially the northern part of the country wish to flock to warmer and sunny places like Goa. This month in Goa is called the ‘season’ as it calls for the highest number of tourists who come visiting for vacation, relaxation and spending their Christmas holidays! The otherwise laid back and quaint towns of Goa come alive during the Christmas celebrations with tourists rejoicing the festivities and locals in pomp and pleasure.
Predominantly Christian, Goa is home to more than 400 churches! Celebrating Christmas in this beautiful state which is impeccably lit up during this time is a must on every traveler’s bucket list. Tourists can attend a Midnight Mass in the very beautiful churches to absorb in the culture, swaying to Christmas carols, have a divine connection and join in the merriment!
Talking of Christian settlements, the Goan winter trip is incomplete without a visit to Old Goa which is marvelously decorated with tinsels, lanterns and buntings in December; mesmerizing everyone with its beautifully decorated churches, stalls with mouthwatering homemade chocolates and cakes! The air is filled with happiness, celebrations and merry making. Must visit churches are the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Church of St. Francis of Assisi.
What could be more indulgent than feasting on a Classic Goan Christmas dinner?! Being in Goa for this festival, calls for gorging on to a scrumptious spread of some exceptional delicacies. One can enjoy meals at a fancy restaurant or on shacks, all kinds of eateries joyously serve Goan treats like Roast Turkey, Pork Sorpotel and of course, a huge spread of Seafood! Bebinca also called Bibik is a must try dessert.
Another interesting ritual specific to the Goa is the one celebrated on the New Year’s Eve. Native Goans practice an interesting tradition called – Burn the Old Man. On New Year’s Eve, several figurines resembling old men, made of hay and old clothes are set on fire. This ritual signifies burning of worries and ills of the previous year and welcoming the next year anew. From children to grandparents, everyone looks up to celebrating the New Year’s Eve by burning the old man!
Come December, the month of festivities and celebrations begin for every taste. Music enthusiasts wait for the famed Sunburn Music Festival which takes place each year in Goa. Being Asia’s biggest music festival with international and Indian artists performing, this extravaganza is a delight for EDM lovers. Another music festival called the Supersonic Festival that was started by VJ Nikhil Chinapa is also being equally appreciated by tourists. Held on the Candolim Beach this festival promotes local as well as international artists.
Post the Christmas festivities, comes the celebration of the New Year’s Eve! Since Goa is synonymous to parties, one can expect a plethora of options to choose from. Thousands of tourists pour in number to its shore to bid adieu to the previous year and welcome the next. Parties in Goa are unmatched to anywhere else in the country. Clubs, restaurants and even beaches are crowded with party animals to welcome the New Year. World’s finest DJ’s, musicians and performers fly down here to entertain the best parties one can experience. For a unique experience, the Silent Noise Parties held on the Palolem beach give a different take.
So, pack your bags and be ready to go! Its Goa calling for marveling the holiday season.