Culture

São João Festivities Delight Attendees at Old Goa

São João Festivities Delight Attendees at Old Goa

The Department of Tourism hosted the annual grand celebration of São João inaugurated by Shri. Rajesh Faldessai, MLA Cumbharjua, along with Shri. Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Director of Tourism & Managing Director in presence of other esteemed officials at Helipad Dauji- Ella, Old Goa. The full day event, filled with traditional music, dances, Goan cuisine, and a host of vibrant activities, created an atmosphere of joy and unity.

Shri Rajesh Faldessai, MLA of Kumbharjua, delivered an inspiring speech on the occasion. The event began with Shri Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Director of Tourism, formally welcoming the Chief Guest to the dais on behalf of the Department of Tourism. Following this, Shri Deepak Narvekar, Deputy General Manager & Marketing of GTDC, extended a warm welcome to all the dignitaries and provided an overview of the festival in his address. The festivities were further enhanced by a captivating welcome dance performed by the Goan Image Dance Troupe.

São João Festivities Delight Attendees at Old Goa

Shri Rajesh Faldessai, MLA Cumbharjua, expressed his delight, stating, “São João is not just a festival, but a celebration of our cultural roots and community spirit. This year’s festivities have beautifully showcased the vibrant traditions and warm hospitality of Goa. We are proud to see such enthusiastic participation and the joy it has brought.”

Mr. Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Director of Tourism & Managing Director GTDC, stated, “The festive atmosphere was palpable as everyone came together to celebrate the unique traditions of São João. The vibrant performances, engaging contests, and the rich display of Goan culture resonated with everyone present, making it a memorable celebration.”

Shri Rajesh Kale, Dy Director Tourism, General Managers GTDC Shri Laxmikant Vaigankar and Sachin Gore were also present on the dais.

São João, a traditional Goan festival marking the feast of St. John the Baptist, was celebrated with great enthusiasm. The festivities on the day featured captivating performances from bands Forefront and Pure Magic, along with an energetic set by DJ Joyson. The excitement continued with Konkani programs by Lawry, Jr. Reagan, Akki, Avito, Pershril, Kimberly, and Dr. Stacy, and musical performances by bands 24k, Lynx, Crimson Tide, Pure Magic, Archies, and Shine On, complemented by electrifying sets by DJ Naveen, DJ Aaron, and DJ Yash.

This year’s celebration highlighted community spirit with contests such as the Best Kopel Contest, Best São João Outfit Contest for Individuals, Couples, and Families, Best São João Outfit for Traditional Groups, Best Traditional Cookery Contest, and fun games like Pot Breaking and Coconut Rolling.

Rooted in Catholic tradition and the rhythms of the monsoon season, São João brings together religious fervor, cultural heritage, and communal joy. The Department of Tourism successfully fostered a deeper appreciation for local customs among residents and visitors. By showcasing the unique and vibrant traditions of Goa, the event also aimed to boost tourism, inviting guests to experience the authenticity and warmth of Goan hospitality and colorful celebrations.

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