Goa, a land of unparalleled beauty, colour and vibrancy never fails to mesmerize its guests and visitors with its wide range of unique offerings. Visiting Goa during the course of its many festivals is an excellent option as it allows you to experience the true spirit of Goa in all its glory.
Nobody can celebrate festivals like the Goans do! Scores of festivals are celebrated in Goa all year round, with great enthusiasm. This part of Southern India is like no other, it has a rich cultural and traditional history with a kaleidoscope of festivals. Igitun Chalne is one of the most famous festivals celebrated in the state today.
Igitun Chalne, literally translated from Konkani, means walking through fire. It is celebrated every year in May, in the temple of Sirigao, which is around 30 kms away from the capital, Panjim. Both the visitors and locals, crowd around the temple to watch the rituals. This is followed by walks on the fire, undertaken by a few courageous people only, while other people encourage them.
According to legend, Goddess Lahrai with her six sisters and one brother arrived in Goa from Bengal. They stayed at different places in Goa. For example, the eldest sister stayed in Mayem, Sirigao is where the second in line stayed and the third settled at Mulgao. These sisters used to send a gift of a pot every year to the prime goddess Lahrai. This trend was continued for many years.
During the Igitun Chalne festival held at the Lahrai Devi temple in Sirigao, many devotees from these regions nearby gather to celebrate the festival of this deity. These are devotees of goddess Lahrai, who believe in going through the trial by fire and submitting their feet and faith. Along with the devotees, many tourists also get in on the action and throng the village to watch the ritual. One hell of a festival, for sure.