Panaji, Feb 22 (ANI): The annual Goa Carnival began with apex of excitement and frolic at Panaji.
Incidentally, this traditional and historical event is observed just prior to the commencement of Lent period of 40 days of austere lifestyle.
A hallmark of the much-awaited three-day festival was the parading of colourful tableaux depicting the cultural heritage of Goa and the influence of Portuguese. It was a colony of Portugal for over two centuries until 1961.
Thus to herald this carnival, Panaji witnessed the local populace being joined by hundreds of tourists from home and abroad, all indulging in revelry.
"I like this festival. I have been to Panji for the first time," said Maria, a tourist from Germany.
The colours of the carnival enchanted the onlookers as the pageants and floats passed through the city's main thoroughfares.
The participants tried to give an ethnic hue to the event despite the commercialised trends gradually eroding the state's rich multi-lingual and religious cultural inheritance.
"As the years are passing, this tradition is vanishing and its necessary that we emphasise that how people used to stay before post liberation," said Raul Pereira, an artisan who designed a tableau depicting Goan heritage.
The carnival marks merriment and precedes the 40 days of Lent observed before Easter when Goa abstains from any kind of merriment.
The Goan Carnival is one of the major attractions for overseas and domestic tourists visiting the world famous tourist spot. (ANI)