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Sao Joao, A Unique Festival When Goans Joyfully Jump Into The Wells

The Sao Joao festival is celebrated in Goa to mark the beginning of festivities in the Monsoon Season. Here are some tips and guidelines for the celebration of Sao Joao this year.
Sao Joao Festival in Goa
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Goa – the name itself is more than enough to fill one with excitement, and joy and put a smile on one’s face. Though Goa is the smallest state of India in geographical terms, but is full of enthusiasm, and joy, rich in culture and traditions, and is known for the celebration of some unique festivities which take place throughout the year. Today the state witnesses a massive crowd of tourists throughout the year just to experience the best that definitely they can get in nowhere else. 

When the rest of the country tries to avoid moving out during the monsoons, Goans step out of their houses to celebrate the festival of Sao Joao – a festival definitely celebrated in no other state of India. This festival which takes place on the 24th of June every year is the most important for the Catholic population in the state. If monsoon gets better, in fact, it memorable is because of this festival. This festival gets even more precious to newlyweds.

One can definitely not stop themselves from dancing and singing to the beats of Ghumott and Kansallem, you might even want to join the revelers and jump into a well with a euphoric shout “Viva Sao Joao”. 

History and Significance of Sao Joao

According to the Christian scriptures, St. John the Baptist, leaped with joy in his mother’s (Elizabeth’s) womb, when Mary informed her about the birth of Christ. The leap into the well is thought to symbolize the womb, and the jump represents the happiness associated with the birth of Christ.

Knowing The Rituals and Traditions Of Sao Joao

Attending the special Church prayer services is the first thing people prefer doing on the day of Sao Joao. Later on this day one can see young as well as married men jump into the wells to retrieve the gifts thrown in by the villagers. One cannot enjoy this festival without tasting the Goan popular local drink Feni and eating the Goan delicacy Patoleo and Sannaas specially prepared for this occasion. 

On this day the mother of a newly married bride sends a gift of a basket of fruits; Pineapples, Jackfruits, and bananas along with  Patoleos to her son-in-law, which is locally known as Vogue. According to some historians, this is an adaptation of the Hindu customs wherein the bride missing her maternal family comes and spends time with them, and when going back, the mother will shower her love and affection for her son-in-law with large baskets of such goodies.

Although Sao Joao is being celebrated throughout the state of Goa with great pom and enthusiasm, Siolim is the only village in the entire state which has been celebrating this festival in a unique way for past over 200 years. An annual boat float parade is organized by the village committee where Youth groups from the neighboring as well as distant villages take part in this annual boat float parade. Preparations for these events start many days in advance and one can see the display of beautiful and creative work done by the youngsters.

As many Goans have settled down in many European and Gulf countries one can see them celebrating the festival there with the same love, spirit, and enthusiasm.

Today organizing pool parties and rain dances have also become a part of the Sao Joao celebration.

Sao Joao is incomplete without KOPEL

One can say the celebration of Sao Joao is incomplete without one wearing a Kopel – a crown made up of fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables, or vines attached together with a thread, and yes that is something similar to the olive leaf crowns of the Romans. One can also try their luck by participating in various Kopel-making Competitions.

Tips For The Tourists Visiting Goa To Witness The Sao Joao Celebration

  1. Book your accommodation well in advance to avoid last-minute havoc.
  2. Don’t pass on some negative comments to anyone.
  3. It’s your responsibility to keep your belongings safe.
  4. Respect the culture and traditions of the locals.
  5. Make use of the Garbage Bins and protect the environment.
  6. Don’t drink and drive.

Sao Joao Events One Should Attend When In Goa

Sao Joao Brunch at Planet Hollywood Beach Resorts Goa

Enjoy the Monsoon Madness with a Splash of Excitement and a whole lot of fun in this Sao Joao. Wear your floral “Copels” and indulge in a heartwarming scrumptious Brunch, drinks to add to the merriment, and live music to let your spirits soar. Viva Sao Joao.

Packages: Alcoholic – 1500 INR Plus Taxes & Non-Alcoholic – 1000 INR plus Taxes

Venue: Fame & Pool Deck, Planet Hollywood Beach Resorts, 30/3, Acsona Waddo, Uttorda Beach, Utorda, Goa 403713 For Reservations: +91 9168645052 / +91 9607914987

Sao Joao Takeover| WMW 2022

Date & Time: Sunday, 26th June, 2 – 10 PM

Venue: Indismart Woodbourne Resort, Goa

Artists Performing For This Event: Skeletron, Tsumyoki (Gully Gang) Goa Trap Culture, Benz, and many more.

Viva Sao Joao Rain Dance Party

Date: Friday, 24th June 2022

Venue: Quinta De Valadares, Verna

Artists Performing For This Event: Ft. Brainwash, Ft. Rintom, Ft. Usman Ft. Navin, Ft. Macattack

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