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Shigmo Festival

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Introduction

The Shigmo Festival is one of the largest holidays celebrated by the Hindu people in Goa. This fest is actually the local variant of the Indian Holi. The celebration consists of two parts. Five days before the full moon in Phalgun month (February-March) the little Shigmo called Dhakto Shigmo begins. It is celebrated in villages. The celebration of «big» Shigmo — Vhaldo Shigmo –starts on the full moon night and also lasts during five days, and all the citizens of the state participate in this festival. Goa people like this festival very much and prepare for it zealously.

Shigmo celebrated in Konkan, especially in Goa is the festival of the common people. It is celebrated all over India but in different names. In North India, it is known as Holi, in Assam and Bengal, it is known as Dolyatra, in South India it is called Kamadahan and in Maharashtra, it is known as Shimga. There are two varieties of the Shigmo festival, the DhaktoShigmo and the VhadloShigmo. The DhaktoShigmo is celebrated by the rural population, farmers and the labour class, whereas the VhadloShigmo is of greater importance and is celebrated by everyone.

 

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History of Shigmo Festival

The Shigmo festival information isacquired from the Puranas. Its origin can be traced back to various Puranic legends. According to one such legend, Hollika was the aunt of Prahlad who provoked her brother Hiranyakashapu to inflict torture on Prahlad to stop him from repeating the name of Lord. According to popular saying, Hollika was chased and abused by the people and was finally burnt to death. Others attribute the celebration of this festival to commemorate the death of Putana by Lord Krishna.

As per the truth ofShigmo festival information, it is believed that this festival is celebrated in the memory of the Indian cupid lord Kamadeva caused by the anger of Lord Shiva for the audacity of the former to disturb him while he was in penance. This festival also commemorates the homecoming of the brave soldiers who had left their families and home at the end of Dussehra to fight the invaders. Shigmo is also celebrated to welcome spring and is also known as a harvest festival.

 

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How to celebrate Shigmo Festival

On the first day, the village deity is bathed and dressed in saffron robes. After the offering of food, a feast is held.

In its essence, the Shigmo fest is a folklore holiday of spring incoming. Every festival day is associated with the performance of particular songs and dances and exact color of clothing. Thus, during the first day of celebration people dress in clothes of yellow color. In all towns and cities people organize carnival processions and parades, and in some places pageants are prepared jointly. The majority of those pageants illustrate dome of the most important events from Indian epos and mythology.

The merriest and the most favorite part of Shigmo festival is the tradition of covering each other with colored powder and bright paints and swilling one another showing thus their gladness of spring incoming. During the festival days Goa people look more picturesque than ever. This also falls to the tourist’s alot, though sometimes unexpectedly, but as a result to everybody’s fun.

 

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