While the entire country gears up for the chilling winters, Goa preps up for its greatest celebration of the year – Christmas carnival followed by the dazzling New Year’s revels. Home to over 400 churches, Goa decks up like a bride during the Christmas holidays and the Goan streets are lit up with fairy lights and stunning decors! The fragrance of scented candles, the mesmerising fireworks, the euphonious sounds of church bells and Christmas carols, the mouth-watering Christmas cake and feasts – there are a hundred reasons why a trip to Goa during the winter holidays must be on your bucket list! But here’s the best of Goan Christmas:
1. Midnight Mass
With hundreds of churches, small and big, abounding every corner of Goa, you’ll never run out of options to attend the Midnight Mass. Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and The Basilica of Bom Jesus being two of the oldest churches in Goa make for the perfect place to spend your Christmas eve whilst witnessing the grand festivities and singing carols and hymns. The Christmas service starts at 10 PM, make sure you grab the best seats in the church by then.
2. The magical Christmas decor
Book a reliable car rental in Goa with an experienced local driver and drive through its winding lanes and streets because there’s no wrong direction in Goa! Drive through the night to witness the lit alleys, markets, malls, churches, decked up shacks and grand Christmas trees. Don’t miss the magical fireworks at its beaches!
3. Christmas Feast
If you plan a Goa trip during Christmas, you are gonna enjoy the best of Goan delicacies. While Goa’s cuisine, particularly the sea food, is famous amongst foodies throughout the country, the sumptuous Christmas buffets are out of the world. Roast turkey, prawn balchao, fish xacuti, banana cakes and Goa’s traditional dessert, bebinca – indulge in an ultimate gastronomical delight.
4. Burn the Old Man
Goan Christmas festivities extend well into the Sunburn and New Year’s Eve celebrations. One of the popular new year’s traditions in Goa is known as ‘burning the old man’. Although the practice dates back to generations, it is still celebrated by locals where children from neighbourhoods create an effigy of an old man and all the families burn it together at midnight just at the break of the new year. The practice is symbolic of the destruction of the negativities of the previous year and welcoming of the new year with a renewed vigour.
5. Sunburn Music Festival
Arguably Asia’s largest electronic music festival, Goa’s iconic Sunburn festival pulls crowds as well as artists from around the globe. Right after the Christmas vibes, visitors as well as locals set into the mood to welcome the new year with three sprawling days of EDM on the Vagator beach. Sunburn is all about music, dance, friends, food and life! And it is the perfect end to the Christmas celebrations.
If you haven’t taken a trip to Goa during the winter holidays, you might as well start planning one today. The place has a charm very different from the regular at this time. Book your accommodation well in advance as Goa is bustling with life – opt for a stay at a hostel or a homestay to witness the local Christmas celebration. Also, book a trusted and reliable cab in Goa for your worry-free beach-hopping evenings while you gulp on those bottles of fenny one after the other!