Shigmo Festival of Goa

Context

What is Shigmo Festival or Shigmotsav?

  • Shigmo is the celebration of a ‘rich, golden harvest of paddy’ by the tribal communities of Goa, says Professor of History at Panaji’s Dhempe College of Arts and Science Prajal Sakhardande. Shigmo, Shigmotsav, Shigmo Goa
  • Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the festival that also marks the onset of spring. Shigmo celebrations last over a fortnight in the months of Phalgun-Chaitra months of the Hindu calendar that correspond with March-April every year.

What are the various activities that take place during Shigmo celebrations?

  • The festival begins with ‘Naman’ that is the invocation of the local folk deities on the village ‘maand’ or the village stage to the beats of percussion instruments like the Ghumat, Dhol, Mhadle and Tashe by the male folk, says Sakhardande.
  • This is called the ‘romta mell’ that moves from one village to another. The celebration is replete with traditional, colourful costumes, mythological installations, painted faces and costumes of various hues.
  • Folk dances like Ghodemodini (a dance of equestrian warriors), Gopha and Phugadi are among the many dances performed by the participating communities.
  • Though the Government of Goa through its tourism department started parades with floats like during the Carnival in February, this, Sakhardande said is a departure from tradition for celebration in the urban areas of what is essentially a rural festival.
  • The float parades have, over the years, been a draw for tourists both domestic and international.
  • The float parades during Shigmo, however, are not as grand as those during the carnival, said Sakhardande.
  • The parades are expected to be held on April 3 and April 4 this year.

Source: Indian Express


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