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Showing posts from August, 2010

Shravan & the unique festivals of Goa

Add caption The Shravan month as per the Hindu calendar is a auspicious month and full of festivals around India . The climate is considered to be just perfect across the peninsula; there is a renewed energy & freshness in the nature around after the heavy rains of July. The fields are ready with their offering of the freshest of vegetables and produce, probably that’s why we have onam, rakshabandhan, narli poornima and various other harvest festivals around India . In Goa these festivals are more on a micro level. Every village has a different version of festivals, feasts & jatras happening. These festivals are a treat as the whole village gets together in celebrations. Vasco celebrates the famous Saptah Jatra, we have Saligao chapel’s feast which is famous around Goa for the earthen ware which is at display in the various make shift shops, bonderas celebrated in Divar island, Konsachem fest (harvest festival) celebrated in the various villages particularly uniquely in T

Vasco Saptah - Goa's largest fair or jatra

There’s a carnival like atmosphere, with over 700 make shift stalls selling everything from food to kitchen ware to clothes to furniture. The prayers and devotional songs continue from the Damodar temple nestled in the front portion of the Joshi Residence. This ancestral home witnesses long lines of lakhs of pilgrims who come to seek the blessings of the divine. The celebration dates back to 1899 when seeking to be saved from a plague that had gripped the port town, residence of Vasco traveled to Zambaulim in South Goa and brought back a coconut blessed at the Shri Damodar Temple . Constant prayers later the plague ended. Folklore holds. When the coconut was brought from Zambaulim, one Shreedhar Joshi was asked to perform the Puja. This tradition has continued for the past 112 years at the temple which is inside the Joshi residence in Vasco. Incidentally the statue of Laord Damodar was installed only in 1970 in the temple, earlier only the coconut was worshiped. The Saptah starts