Panaji: Goa’s biggest Hindu folk festival, Shigmo, will begin on March 14 and will continue in various rural areas over a fortnight. Different days have been earmarked for celebrations in different parts of the State.
The festival has become an important annual event on the State’s tourism calendar. A statement issued by the State Tourism Department said thousands of tourists are expected to visit, to witness the spectacular Shigmo parades.
The float parades will begin at Ponda, Central Goa, on March 14. Panaji will witness these parades on March 18. The floats are elaborately built and depict scenes from mythologies. The parades consist of traditional folk and street dancers, dancing on the tunes of Dhol tashas, flutes, and other instruments played in the processions across.
The festival also depicts the Goan life in traditional folk dances like Ghode Modni, Goff, and Fugdi, performed in troupes along the procession, passing through the streets that are lit up with colourful décor.
It was traditionally celebrated as the homecoming of the warriors who had left their homes and families at the end of Dusshera to fight invaders.
Pandurang Phaldesai, former member secretary of the State-owned Goa Kala Academy, and an expert on the State’s folk music and dances, said the word Shigmo has its roots in Prakrit word Sugimaho (meaning post-harvest celebration).
Phaldesai said, “The festival marks celebration of harvesting of crop and also coincides with Holi.”