Carnival over COVID: Goa to host annual float parade amid outbreak
Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa's colonial Portuguese legacy and are held here every year
The spirit of Carnival appears to have outplayed the fear of the coronavirus in Goa. Civic administration in Panaji are finally permitting the colourful festival which is due to begin on February 13.
Private and corporate funding for the popular event is expected to dip this year but the event would nonetheless be held as scheduled, according to the Mayor of the Corporation of the City of Panaji Uday Madkaikar.
Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa's colonial Portuguese legacy and are held here every year before the holy season of Lent, which is marked by fasting and an air of solemnity.
The festival, which involves a public celebration in form of long continuous parades of gaily coloured floats, with masqueraded dancers, is led by King Momo or king of the carnival, who is a locally chosen celebrity, who is given a key to the city.
After the inaugural parade in Panaji, which holds the pride of place of launching the carnival festivities in Goa, similar float parades are also organised in other cities namely Margao, Vasco, Ponda, Morjim and Curchorem. This year though the float parade has been limited to two major towns, Panaji and Margao in south Goa.
While Panaji's civic authorities have been allowed to hold the carnival event by the Goa government, this year though the festivities are expected to be a slightly toned down affair, especially because of lack of sponsorship from private and corporate donors. This year, the Goa government has allotted Rs 20 lakh to be spent on carnival festivities in Panaji along with Rs 6 lakh in prize money, which is to be distributed to winners of the participants in the carnival float parade with the best decor and theme.
Meanwhile, Goa reports less than 100 COVID-19 cases on an average every day.
(With inputs from IANS)