GOANS MAKE A SPLASH WITH SAO JOAO. Locals in Goa flocked to swimming pools and small ponds to celebrate the traditional Catholic festival ‘Sao Joao’ across the coastal state earlier this week. Traditionally, people jump into the well but since the wells are fast disappearing, people prefer to celebrate it in swimming pools.
The festival saw revelers plunging into water bodies since morning to commemorate the day in the name of St John De Baptista who was believed to have baptized Jesus Christ.
The festival is marked to heralds monsoon season in the state every year in the month of June. People were also seen having a great time by enjoying and dancing in the artificial rain which added charm to the celebrations.
To take the celebrations up a notch, revelers donned crowns of fresh fruit and wildflowers, traditionally called ‘kopel’ to celebrate the occasion. San Joao, like any other Goan feast, has that captivating spirit of merriment, colour and tradition. People dressed in colourful outfits from several villages meet and celebrate the day as carnival.
On sharing the significance of the festival, Francis who organizes the festival in Goa said, “We have people from all across the country like Delhi, Mumbai coming to participate in the festival. This festival is enjoyed by everyone be it children, women or men. Like earlier, we used to celebrate this festival where men used to jump into the wells and celebrate Sao Joao, but ladies and children would not get the privilege of having a bath in the well. To modify this festival, from the past seven years we organize a rain dance and artificial pools so that everyone can have a good time and enjoy the festival.”
The celebrations began early morning with villagers breaking the coconuts after saying their prayers. One of the main attractions of the event was the tempting food stalls where people were seen hogging on delicious food.