The Goa Carnival festival is held every year in the month of February and lasts for three days. It is one of the eagerly awaited events of the year. The Carnival of Goa is the time to indulge in feasting, drinking and merry making. During the Goa Carnival, the state comes to life due to a multi-cultural essence. Although it is primarily a Christian festival, it is celebrated by people of all religions and culture with the similar enthusiasm.
Goa Carnival was introduced by Portuguese, who ruled over the state for more than 500 years. People from different parts of the country come to Goan Carnival to take part in the revelry and enjoy themselves. The carnival starts with a magnificent display of colorful floats. The celebrations are also accompanied by a prize distribution ceremony, where the best floats are adequately rewarded. Floats, colossal parades, bands, balls and dances together symbolize the Goa Carnival. Groups of masked revelers dressed in dazzling costumes sing and dance to the tunes of the renowned musicians. Goa Carnival ends with the popular red-and-black dance held by the Club National in Panaji. The word 'carnival' literally means to take away meat. And as the name suggests, people stay away from meat during the 40-day period of fasting of Lent that follows it.