Like so many good things in life football, beaches and Sorpotel, New Years in Goa is an exotic affair. It’s the time of midnight masses, carols, open-air dances, beach parties, markets selling sweets, stars and baubles.
Here’s our list of the most interesting things to do in Goa in this season:
Just for dessert lovers
The festive season brings many special desserts to the table. These sweets are made at home and sent in napkin-covered trays to relatives and friends. The traditional Goan Christmas treats like neureos, mandares kulkuls, doce and bebinca are sold everywhere as crowds of people gather to buy them. Nowadays people also make sweets like gingerbread men, yule logs, fudge, and marzipan. There are different bakeries in Goa where one can sample these delicious sweets.
Help make the Local Crib
During Christmas, cribs depicting scenes of the birth of Jesus are put up in homes, churches, chapels, and some village squares. The vaddo children help with making the crib. You can join a local crib trail or walk around looking for these on your own.
Burn the old man tradition
Ushering the New Year ie. burning an effigy of an old man is traditional in Goa. Village youngsters stuff hay in the effigy and put them up them in prominent spots. The old man is dressed up in old clothes, and sometimes hoisted up, holds a bottle of alcohol, and has a cigar in his mouth. He symbolises the year gone by and is set aflame to purge the old and bring in the New Year.
Carols and Midnight mass
Dress up in your finest and head to a church to attend New Year’s Mass in grandeur, the traditional midnight mass. You could say a prayer, sing a hymn or two at any of the picturesque churches in the state. After mass the locals meet to exchange news and greetings over cake and coffee.
Immerse in local music and culture
Catch a musical or a tiatr performance at the Kala Academy in Panjim which is lit up beautifully during the festive season.
Picnic on the beach
Beaches in Goa are not only beautiful during the season time but teaming with shacks selling different food, music in the air, perfect for a beach picnic with friends, watching the sunset or just a long walk on the beach.
Watch the fireworks
Set out a blanket, sit back and watch fireworks lighting up the midnight sky on New Year’s Eve. The best beaches to visit are Candolim, Baga, Calangute, Vagator etc..
Party all night
Goa is notorious for a good party. Some of the more popular beaches have impromptu dancing and parties open to everyone. Besides other clubs, Tito’s Lane has some of the most popular nightclubs in Goa and is thronging with tourists all year round, especially during Christmas and New Year where their extravagant parties bring lots of locals, foreigners and tourists alike.