There are festivals in Goa that mark every occasion like religiously significant events as well as those that welcome the new season. One of the most anxiously awaited events in Goa, Shigmo or Shigmotsav as it is commonly known is one such festival that signifies the end of winter and the arrival of spring season. The festival is marked with colorful celebrations and parades that depict scenes from mythology.
Shigmo is similar to the festival of Holi celebrated in the northern part of India where people play with dry and water colours.
Traditional folk dancers dressed in charming attire perform to the beats of drums. The festivities can last for a period of close to 15 days and is celebrated on different days in different regions.
The Shigmotsav is celebrated in a very traditional way with songs and dance being a very important part of the festivities. Naman and Jot are the two commonly heard songs that accompany the dances. The dancers go from door to door in the villages and people give them money as a token of appreciation for their efforts.
A ceremonial bath in the holy waters marks the end of the Shigmo festival.
When is the Shigmo Festival celebrated?
The Shigmotsav is celebrated in March and the dates can vary according to the region. There are two forms of the Shigmo festival namely Dhakto Shigmo, which is celebrated mainly by the rural population and the Vodlo Shigmo, which is celebrated by every strata of the society.
Dhakto commences five days before full moon day in March and ends on the day of the full moon while Vodlo begins after the end of Dhakto. The entire celebrations, therefore, last for a period of more than 10 days.