A completely different face of Goa exists beyond its beaches, beers, and parties; and I witnessed this side of the place during the Shigmo Festival this year, which is celebrated during the spring season. I must say that the enthusiasm and zeal of this festival are inexpressible in words; everyone taking part in the celebrations as well as the audience are equally excited about the Shigmotsava or Shishirotsava. This five-day festival marks the homecoming of thousands of fighters who had gone to fight with the assailants during Dusshera.

It was an astounding feeling to witness the cultural programs, parades, and grand celebrations. People dance to the beats of folk songs and enjoy with various colors around them. When I was there, I could literally feel myself engaged with everyone involved in the celebrations. The little girl with a sword in her hand, a man engulfed by the roaring beats of the dhol, and a woman busy with the high-pitched cymbals. It is not common to visualize pole dance with old women, but it was amazing to see them holding poles and dancing in a unique style. As I could focus my attention on the intimidating Yama Raj, I noticed a toddler dressed as Krishna strolling past me. It is not a usual spectacle to see a man dressed as Ravana adjusting his headgear and moustache, or a frantic Hanuman running here and there possibly looking for someone.

I found myself busy with people watching and visualizing stories about them. The energy that flows in the air with the waving of flags and poles as they twirl and swirl on the beats of the Dhol. The entire state was engulfed in the celebrations of the Shigmo Festival, and it was a spectacular sight for the locals as well as the tourists.

Since the spring season holds great significance for the Goan villagers, men, women, and kids hold dance celebrations in their fields, sing time-honored songs, and pray to their deities. The mythology of the place is brought alive with the theatrical performances spiked with trance and colors. The villages humbly celebrate the festival, but the city region gives a spectacle of larger than life deities in various forms.

Although I had planned to drive through Goa to visit various places, I did not get a chance to use the self-drive car rental apps because the festival is best witnessed on foot. I kept the Car rental apps in my phone for later use in Goa. I walked around the city among the crowd of humans dressed as mesmerizing deities showcasing their local culture. Their folk dances- the Romtamell, the Ghode Modani, or the Dindi- can put even the best dancers of India at awe.

The best part about the Shigmo Festival was that age was not a matter of consideration; everyone had the same level of enthusiasm, whether they were old people or the little kids. Everyone danced, sang, and took part in the celebrations with the same passion. The groups dressed in various attires perform various acts to grab the attention of the nearby audience.

After walking around watching various performances, I got to know that the performances were competitive. The artists, dancers, and singers compete with each other to grab prizes. It is praiseworthy to see the dedication of the locals towards this festival, which also attracts tourists from around the country. I was there in Goa just to witness this festival, and I could even see hundreds of other visitors who had probably come there for the same purpose. The audience was also involved with the locals in spreading a message against the social issues like waste management and mining. I must say that I was not let down at all being there in Goa even when it was packed on all roads. I would definitely visit here again during the spring season to witness this festival again.

Author's Bio: 

Visiting Goa was very nice experience for us. we have hired a self drive car by which we enjoyed a lot. it helped us to roam anywhere without any problem.