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Goa’s Sao Joao festival

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    6th Jul, 2022


The Catholic community in the state of Goa celebrates Sao Jao, the feast of St. John the Baptist every monsoon.


About Sao Joao festival:

  • Sao Joao festival is a Catholic festival, immensely popular in North Goa.
  • The celebrations include revellers sporting crowns made of fruits, flowers and leaves, and the major draw of the feast is the water bodies – wells, ponds, fountains, rivers – in which the revellers take the “leap of joy”.
  • The festival also includes playing the traditional gumott (percussion instrument), a boat festival, servings of feni, and a place of pride for new sons-in-law.
  • This festival is marked by young men jumping into wells to retrieve the gifts thrown in by the villagers.

Historical Background

  • The Sao Joao festival in Goa 2022 is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, who, according to Christian scriptures, leapt with joy at his mother, Elizabeth’s womb, when she was told of the birth of Christ.
  • John, the Baptist, later went on to baptise Jesus in the river Jordan.
  • The well is considered to be a representation of Elizabeth’s womb and a jump into it a sign of joy for the birth of Christ.

The feast of Catholic priest Saint John the Baptist is celebrated six months before Christmas, that is December 25, which is marked as the birthday of Jesus Christ.

  • Catholics in Goa celebrate various religious festivals at the Roman Catholic Church. One of these is the feast of St. John the Baptist, which is celebrated on June 24.
  • John the Bapist baptised Jesus Christ on the river Jordan.

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