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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Goa ushers in Sao Joao festivities

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Panaji: The festivities of traditional Sao Joao was celebrated in Goa on Friday during which several youth jumped in various water bodies.

Goans thronged wells, ponds and other water bodies to celebrate festival Sao Joao on Friday.

Finding its origin in the erstwhile Portuguese rule, the festival is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, who baptised Lord Jesus in the river of Jordan.

On Friday, Celebrations began across Goa since morning with youngsters wearing headgears made up of flowers and leaves, jumping into the wells and screaming ‘Viva Sao Joao’.

The festival is celebrated annually on June 24 at the onset of monsoon by people cutting across religious lines, while tourists also join revellers with great zeal. Traditionally, a group of youth travel all over a place to take a plunge inside wells, ponds, streams, and then claim a reward of seasonal jack fruit, pineapple from relatives and friends.

Siolim, a village in North Goa, has been hosting traditional canoe parade on the occasion of Sao Joao. Silvester Fernandes, President of Siolim Sao Joao committee, said that the celebrations were on hold for last two years due to COVID-19 pandemic. “We held it this year with the same enthusiasm in the past,” he said.

While Sao Joao festivities has a history of more than a century, at Siolim, the festivities began in 80s. “Prior to that some people from neighbouiring villages upto Anjuna used to arrive at Siolim to pray at the Cross and go back,” said Fernandes.

The festivities took a formal shape in 80s when few of the locals decided to hold Canoe parade. “Several hundred locals and also tourists arrive here to witness this colourful parade,” he said.

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