Panaji, February 25: Goa has always been an attractive destination for its beaches, carnivals, cruises, festivals etc. Goa is all set to rock with festive celebrations from today. Goa’s Viva Carnival kicks off from today. Musician Roque Tome Fernandes has been selected as the ’King Momo’ this year. He will essay the role of the mythological character, who rules the state for four days.
A four-day Viva Carnival of is expected to draw crowds in large numbers which will hit the streets of Panaji alongside the river Mandovi. According to Goa Tourism Development Corporation, 51 floats are participating in the carnival parade. The floats will line up from Divja circle to the Mermaid garden along the Mandovi river front. The carnival pulls the state tourism and is also expected to boosts the tourism more. "It was an excuse to celebrate. Now it has become a big festival with so many people coming," a state tourism official said.
“I am really happy to create history in Goa by being King Momo for the 5th time, enthused Roque Tome Fernandes. Roque was retired from government services and is now known face in the entertainment industry. He also said that it is because of my personality and the manner in which I present myself and read out the decree.
Goa's Viva carnival borrows heavily from the Brazilian carnival. Right from the dance troupes to the extravagant floats, Goa's carnival parade shows its Brazilian roots. This includes King Momo and his decree, both of which are Brazilian in origin. Started in the 18th century by the Portuguese, the Goa Carnival is the biggest and most important festival celebrated in the state. It is meant to be a precursor to the abstinence of Lent. Lent is a period of religious observance in Christianity in order to prepare a believer through prayer, penance, and repentance of sins. The traditional extravaganza takes place only in Goa and is marked by colors, banners, decorated vehicles moving throughout the city in a parade headed by King Mom.
"Carnival started in a very simple way with no floats in the beginning. It was only in 1974 that floats were introduced in the carnival parade," seven-time first prize winner for floats and Carnival veteran Francis Martin said.