Panaji: Sao Joao may be one of the most revered festival in Goa. But it is not the only. There are few more. (Courtesy: The Better India Magazine)
A festival celebrated very keenly by Goa’s fishing community, the Sangodd festival marks the feasts of Saints Peter and Paul. The celebration, which follows morning prayers, involves making a decorated floating platform by binding two boats or banana tree trunks together to support miniature models of churches and chapels.
The makeshift float, or sangodd, then makes seven rounds of the colourfully decked Cumbarjua canal, accompanied by raucous cheers and chants of ‘Viva St. Pedro’ and dances by festively attired fishermen.
The celebrations culminate at the chapel of St. Peter located downstream, and the day is rounded off with a cultural programme organised in the evening. The festival also celebrates the spirit of adventure with a number of competitions where young people exhibit their talents.
Boat festivals are organised as a part of the Sangodd festival; these are attended by revellers from all over Goa. Each sangodd is uniquely decorated and its members wear a kind of uniform to distinguish themselves from other groups.
The Siolim Traditional Boat Festival has been held regularly for more than a quarter of a century and gives visitors a fun peek into the rich and pulsating culture of Goa.
Savour Goa’s choicest jackfruits and the scrumptious dishes made from them at the Ponsachem Fest or the Jackfruit Festival at Socorro. Held on the same day as the Sao Joao festival, this celebration of the juicy jackfruit brings together locals and tourists alike, with both looking to taste traditional delicacies.
The Konkani word for jackfruit is the same as the Sanskrit panas. In Goa, two varieties can be found that differ in the nature of their flesh: the pulpy rasaal and the firmer, crisper kaapo.
In local folklore, a more generous fruit is hard to cite. The flesh is eaten as it is, or used as the main ingredient in several traditional preparations. The chewy saatth, prepared by grinding and flattening the pulp and then drying it in the sun, is much relished in Goa. The roasted seeds are a wholesome snack and jackfruit chips make for irresistible nibbles. To cap it all, the neighbourhood cows are ever grateful for the skins tossed their way.
The event features different types of raw and ripe jackfruits and their popular by-products like squashes, papads, sattam, and jacada. There are live demonstrations of cutting and deseeding the jackfruit, baking its seeds and preparation of traditional dishes.