Summer Festivals in Goa

bonfire on a beach in Goa

Goa has been a hotspot for both national and international tourists since the 1960s. Every year, especially around winter, Goa sees an influx in tourists that number in the millions. But there is a lot more to Goa than just its pristine beaches and flamboyant parties. Throughout the year, numerous festivals are held across the state which bring different communities together. For a tourist destination like Goa, the state also offers a plethora of festivals in summer to ensure guests keep visiting the state year-round, and not just during peak season.

Here is a list of Goa festivals in summer that you must make time for and explore!

grape stomping at grape escapade Goa

Grape Escapade

Grape Escapade, Goa is the largest wine festival in India. It is a four-day celebration that commemorates the redolent drink. Wineries, hoteliers, oenophiles, and curious visitors throng the venue in the state capital Panjim. The big attraction is the grape stomping tradition where visitors are encouraged to trample piles of grapes to macerate them and help begin the fermentation process. The festival is not just about wine, it is also a meeting arena for restaurateurs, critics and other culinary enthusiasts. Multiple cultural events like theatrical plays, concerts and dance performances are organized to appropriately celebrate the occasion.

coconut drink

Cashew & Coconut Festival

Feni and urrak are important elements of the culture and social identity of Goa. Its importance in the Goan culture earned it its very own annual occasion!. The Goa Cashew & Coconut Festival is annually held in Panjim around May. Visitors are shown the various steps involved in the process of making the drinks. Cashew and coconut are also widely used in Goan cuisine, and the different culinary uses of the two are highlighted via numerous workshops and exhibitions. The festival also organizes games and competitions. But the winner of the show is of course, the drinks themselves, which are consumed in copious quantities throughout the festival.

stained glass painting of the baptism of Jesus

Sao Joao, Goa

Sao Joao is a Catholic festival held on 24th June every year. It is observed in honour of St. John the Baptist and is celebrated in a very unique manner. According to the Bible, John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus who "leapt" in his mother's womb when she was told that the Virgin Mary would give birth to Jesus. He also baptised Jesus in the River Jordan. Revellers jump into wells and ponds to symbolise the aforementioned "leap of joy" and the innumerable baptisms performed by John the Baptist during his life. To celebrate the occasion, they wear 'kopels' - crowns made of flowers and leaves and drink a lot of feni. On the occasion of Sao Joao, Goans, Catholic Goans especially, come together in great numbers and celebrate the saint.

Bonderam festival parade

Bonderam

Welcome to Divar, an idyllic little island on River Mandovi, just a short ferry ride away from Old Goa. Every year, on the fourth Saturday of August, the residents of the island gather to celebrate the much-awaited Bonderam festival. What is Bonderam, you may ask? It is derived from 'bandeira' - the Portuguese word for flag. When the Portuguese first arrived in Divar, the island was inhabited by three major communities - Piedade, Sao Matias and Goathias. They used to constantly dispute over the limited land available on the island, much to the chagrin of the Portuguese. So the colonizers came up with the idea to demarcate individual plots of land with flags. The locals revolted by taking down the flags. Years later, the Portuguese left, but the tradition remained.

Every year, there is a parade showcasing different flags and floats. After the parade, large processions go around taking down the flags put up across the island, drinking plenty of urrak and dancing to 'Viva Bonderam' along the way!

summer festivals in Goa

If you are planning a visit to this vibrant state to embrace the summer festivals, come stay at Villa in Palms by V Escapes! Celebrate our beloved festivals with us. We guarantee you an unforgettable time that you will cherish forever!