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Carnival in Goa: Samba Square to play host in Panaji

By Super

Goa Carnival
Panaji, Feb 5: A quaint garden named after a 16th century Portuguese Jewish physician and naturalist Garcia de Orta will host one of the Goa carnival's biggest samba parties this year.

Re-christened Samba Square for the five-day carnival from Feb 9, the recently refurbished Jardin de Garcia de Orta in the heart of the state capital, is the venue for the music, dance and food stalls.

"The Panaji Carnaval Committee, along with citizens of Panjim will organise the Samba Square in an effort to revive the nostalgia of the years gone by at the historic Garcia de Orta," said Sanjit Rodrigues, Panaji's civic corporation commissioner.

The Samba Square, inspired by Brazil's lively carnival, is being patched together through collaboration with the civic authority other corporates like real estate firms, luxury car manufacturers and liquor labels.

A special carnival anthem for the Samba Square, composed by Mukesh Ghatwal with lyrics by John Aguiar, was released on the occasion, the organisers said.

The carnival is celebrated in countries once ruled by Iberians - either Portuguese or Spanish - and in some French-ruled countries as Mardi Gras.

"The Samba Square will bring together young and old carnival enthusiasts to celebrate in the true spirit of the festivities," Rodrigues told IANS.

To set the mood for the festivities, the street outside the garden will have food stalls, decor and lighting. Live entertainment will be featured at the pergola in the garden.

"Goa is known for its vibrant carnival celebration. It gives us great pleasure to be a partner for this carnival," said Makrand Brahme, business head at Ashok Beleza, a premium real estate project in the state.

And if there's dance and music for the young and hip, for those who like a dash of learning with their fun, the last day of carnival also comes with fruit and vegetable carving contests and salad dressing competitions for women.

Carnivals along with Christmas and Ganesh Chaturthi are one of the biggest festivals in the state, which was ruled by the Portuguese for over 450 years.


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