Goa ushers in Carnival among pomp and splendour
Panaji Feb 10 (IANS) Goa a former Portuguese colony ushered in the Carnival on Saturday with traditional float parades led by the caricaturish icon King Momo to packed audiences.
Thousands of revelers dressed in visibly loud costumes funny hats or dyed wigs thronged the streets of Panaji as the Carnival parade moved merrily along the Marine drive near Miramar beach here.
"Carnival is one of the flagship tourism events of Goa. It is a symbol of our culture and tradition " Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar told reporters on the sidelines of the festivities.
Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa s colonial Portuguese legacy and are held here every year before the holy season of Lent which is marked by fasting and an air of solemnity.
The festival which involves a public celebration in form of long continuous parades of gaily coloured floats with masqueraded dancers is led by King Momo or king of the carnival who is a locally chosen celebrity who is given a key to the city.
After the inaugural parade in Panaji similar float parades will also be held in other cities namely Margao Vasco Ponda Morjim and Curchorem.