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Author: Vaibhav Goyal, IV year of BA.LLB(H) from University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University (SSGRC, Hsp.), Chandigarh

“The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals.”

-Siddharth Katragadda

Shigmo is perhaps the most praised celebration in the Indian state of Goa. It is a celebration of colours, dance, music, and sufficiently bright brilliant buoy marches. This celebration falls in the period of 'Falgun' according to the Hindu schedule which generally falls in March. In actuality, the specific dates rely upon the location of the moon every year. It is otherwise called the celebration of colours for individuals in Goa or 'spring celebration', the length of which is fourteen days.

In ancient times, the Shigmo celebration was hoisted to respect the homecoming warriors who left their families back home in the period of Dussehra (another significant Hindu celebration) to battle the invaders. To invite them, individuals performed different customary folk dances and enacted various customary scenes from great epics making it a gigantic festival. As indicated by one such legend, Holika was the auntie of Prahlad who incited her sibling Hiranyakashapu to perpetrate torment on Prahlad to prevent him from rehashing the name of Lord. As per the popular saying, Holika was pursued and manhandled by individuals and was at last signed to death. Other’s property is the festival of this celebration to recognize the demise of Putana by Lord Krishna.

According to Shigmo celebration data, it is accepted that this celebration is praised in the memory of the Indian cupid ruler Kamadeva who was brought about by the outrage of Lord Shiva for his daringness of the Shiva to upset him while he was in penance. The festival is also celebrated to mark the farewell of the winter season thus ripening of the winter crop also takes place during the Shigmo festival. There are two variations to the Shigmo celebration; Dhakto Shigmo (small Shigmo) and Vhadlo Shigmo (big Shigmo). The small Shigmo or the Dhakto Shigmo is by and large celebrated by the ranchers, working-class, and the provincial populace; though the Vhadlo Shigmo is commended on a significant scale and everybody participates in something similar.

The Festival is identified with the Hindu lunar schedule and henceforth its date as per the Gregorian schedule differs. The Shigmo celebration data is acquired from the Puranas. "Shigmo" is a Konkani expression, which has been begotten from the Prakrit word 'Suggimaho' and the Sanskrit word, Sugrishmaka. It is praised all over India yet in various 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 Shimoga. The Shigmo celebration data is procured from the Puranas. Its inception can be followed back to different Puranic legends.

Shigmo celebration 2021 Goa would be commended in the period of Phalgun (March), starting on the ninth moon day to the full moon day. The celebration starts with the Naman (melody) and the aggregate offerings and prayers by the people. Then, the village idol is washed and dressed in saffron robes. The fifth day is called 'Rang Panchami'. This day of cheering is praised with the lavish utilization of 'Gulal' or red powder. Individuals smear gulal on one another as a gesture of greeting. On the eleventh to fifteenth day, the locals, clad in bright garments representing dhwajas or archways alongside thumping drums and blowing the flutes, gather at the town temples. They play out the different customary dances like the 'Ghode-Morni' or the pony dance, Talgadi, Hanpet, Lamp dance, Gopha,' Rommatamel' and 'Fugdi' moves are performed by the townspeople as a feature of the celebration.

The grandiose figures of pompously painted demons and gods take the middle stage. These buoys portray scenes from folklore and present the way of life of Goa. The legendary figures like Ravana, Sita, Kumbhafarna, evil presences, Sugreeva Sena, Lord Rama are dazzlingly manufactured by the gifted craftsmen and are in reality a banquet for the eyes. The basic propositions of the dance exhibitions appear to be on the Maratha fighting and the exceptional leaders of the past like the Kadambs, Rashtrakuts, Chalukyas, Silahars, Muslims, Bahamani, and the Portuguese.

Shigmo is a customary Goan celebration, however, it has never got the inclusion that the Carnival festivities in Goa have gotten. Now, the state government has offered its help for the Shigmo road march at Goa. These buoys consist of customary people moves, road artists, and buoys portraying strict scenes. A dynamite Shigmo road march is yearly held in Panjim city. Buoys at the Shigmo march are additionally held in significant urban areas like Margao, Mapusa, Vasco, and Ponda.

Components of the Goan Shigmo celebration, similar to the ghudis, lalkhi, taranga, and bonderam are put at different areas across the whole stretch from Divja circle to the Kala Academy in Panaji. The principal fascination, the Shigmo Parade begins from Ponda and continues to Valpoi, Curchorem, Pernem, Panjim, Sanguem, Argao, Mapusa, Vasco, Bicholim, Quepem, Cuncolim, Sanquelim and Canacona over its 15-day course. The Shigmotsav Parade is coordinated by the PanajiShigmotsavSamiti in coordination with the Panaji Municipal Council (PMC) and Goa Tourism.

There are 14 Shigmo Goa boards. Among the Shigmo Committees in Goa, the Panaji Shigmotsav council is an important one and it takes a functioning part during the time spent settling its program for the Shigmotsav. Shigmo boards like Panaji, welcome Maharashtrian entertainers for the social projects to be held during the Shigmotsav.

With Covid-19 cases rising, Goa is set to see Shigmo festivities restrained with the public authority having declared wiping out of the motorcades that it had before permitted in three spots. On March 30, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Assembly that while public get-togethers had been denied, customary Shigmo festivities in towns would not be hindered and Section 144 would not matter to these festivals. Prior, the public authority had permitted marches to be held in three areas – Panaji, Ponda, and Mapusa — on April 3 and April 4; these are presently dropped during the current year's celebration.


Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues, Feasts, Festivals, and Observances of Goa, L & L Publications, 2008

Arti Das, Celebrate the annual Shigmo festival in Goa!, The Hindu, March 14, 2018

B Borkar, Shigmo in Goa, ESamskriti, 2003

Official Portal of Shigmo Festival. Can be accessed on

MayuraJanwalkar, Shigmo: Goa’s harvest festival, hit by Covid-19 this year, The Indian Express, April 3, 2021


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