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Goans Celebrate Monsoon Festival

Goans this weekend had a gala time celebrating annual Monsoon festival, which marks San Joao, the feast of John, the Baptist .

Monsoon festival is a legacy Goans have inherited from the Portuguese, who ruled the State until it was liberated in 1961.

During the celebrations, Goans jumped into rivers, ponds and wells amidst persistent rains.

In villages, the festival was celebrated with much traditional fervour.

At Loutulim in south Goa, men wearing 'copel' or crowns of flowers and grass, sung traditional songs and danced to merry tunes before jumping into a pond.

Maendra Alvares, one of the participants, said: "We celebrated San Joao, the feast of Saint John's, like how it was in the olden times. We celebrate it by jumping in the ponds. People wear crowns and have all the traditional food ".

Alister Fernandes said: "Everybody makes merry on this day. They wear hats specially made at home with flowers. To enjoy, they jump into wells.

It is San Joao's peace Viva San Joao," said Fernandes.

In Navelim, young men and teenaged boys, were seen diving into a well and splashing around.

Men, women and children donning colourful headgears made of flowers sang and danced, as they made merry on the occasion.

Hundreds of people gathered in the picturesque village of Siolim, to watch heavily decorated boats row up the Chapora River from several areas in Goa.

It is believed that San Joao revellers from across Goa, first converged in front of St. Anthony's Church in Siolim over 150 years back.

According to the Biblical legend when Saint John was in his mother's womb, Mother Mary visited his mother in her dream. Saint John supposedly leaped inside her womb in joy.

Portuguese traditions still have a strong presence especially in the coastal areas of the State.

Goas balmy beaches, tropical clim ate and its unique charm attract thousands of international tourists every year.


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