Panaji: Thousands of people jumped in the water bodies in Goa to celebrate the annual festival of Sao Joao, which celebrates the feast of St John the Baptist, every monsoon, on the 24th of June.
The festivities began in the morning on Saturday with several people dressed in colourful attire wearing the crown of flowers, known as kopels, sang the traditional Konkani songs and jumped in various water bodies like wells, ponds and even enjoyed on the open grounds.
Coincidently, after a dry spell, the state witnessed heavy rains on Saturday, adding to the festivities.
According to the Bible, John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus who ‘leapt’ in his mother’s womb when she was told that Virgin Mary would give birth to Jesus.
“He was also the one who baptised Jesus in the River Jordan,” he added.
While drinking the local liquor feni is common during the festivities, it is adviced that one should not jump in the waterbody after drinking.
Goa government has recognized this festival as a state event. State Tourism Department on Saturday held a Sao Joao party at Old Goa.