Shigmo festival is a spring festival in Goa during the months of February or March. The festival is celebrated by the Konkani population of the state. It marks the bloom of the forests of the Western Ghats and the harvest that comes in with the onset of spring.
The festival takes place in the month of Falgun, according to the Hindu Calendar all through the month till Gudi Padwa. It is related to the Hindu Lunar Calendar.
This year the festivities begin on 18th March and coincide with Holi in South Goa’s southernmost taluk Canacona. Parades are organized that go across various towns with the support of the government. Shigmo is celebrated by farmers and artists in all of Goa.
Hundreds of people stand for hours along the roadside to experience the extravagant parade that begins with male dancers and musicians called ‘mel’ at a ‘maand’ (sacred space) and invocation of local deities known as ‘naman’.
After the sacred space they then perform in front of village house – this is called ‘veera mel’. The householders usually offer them coconuts and food.
The other dances which are part of this tradition are ‘tonya mel’, ‘talgadi and ‘goff’. These are usually conducted in remote villages very late at night. The more common folk dances like romta mel’, which is a ceremonial dance procession where male dancers dance with flags, banners in hand to the beats of dhol, tashe, and other musical instruments; ‘ghodemodni’, a warrior dance where men dressed in colourful attire perform with a sword and a wooden frame of a horse, around their waist, are performed at the parade for all to witness.
The Shigmo parade gives you an idea of the cultural richness of this part of the country. It also has colourful tableaus that depict scenes from mythological stories.
Date: 21.03.2020 – 05.04.2019
Dates for Shigmo 2019 float parades