Goa festivals - There are many festivals in Goa which are celebrated with equal excitement and gaiety irrespective of being a Hindu or Christian festival. Of those many festivals, Novidade in Goa is one exclusive form as both Hindus and Christians gather together and celebrate it in a same manner.
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On the day of Goa Novidade, all the farmers be it Hindu or Christians bestow their first offering to the church before harvesting their rice crop. The community priest himself harvests a sheaf of rice.
After reaping this sheaf, he takes it to the church. On his return to church local people accompany him with music, fire-works and jubilation. Not only this, women folk of the earliest tribal settlers in Goa perform tribal dance in the second half of the month. The dance they perform is called Bhandup.
Goa Novidade is celebrated in the Indian months of Bhadra-Pada. This Indian month corresponds with August and September months in English. Celebration of Novidade stands for religious integrity and tolerance of the people of Goa.
After the traditional offering on Goa Novidade, farmers can start harvesting as in the normal process. However, it can commence only when the ritual has been performed.
This festival that occurs in the Indian months of Bhadra-Pada, and corresponds with the months of August and September, is an exemplary evidence of the religious integrity and tolerance of the people of Goa. During the time of the Novidade, the parish priest plays the part of the harvester by himself harvesting a sheaf of rice. He returns with this first sheaf to the Church, where he offers it before the altar of the Lord. Regardless of the farmer’s religion, no one will harvest his rice crop before this traditional offering has been made during the Novidade; the harvesting commences in its regular process only after this ritual has been conducted.
Goan Festivals in India - Local people accompany the priest to the Church in a procession singing hymns and other songs of adoration. Music, fire-works and jubilation are the chief celebratory displays during the festival. A dance, called the Bhandup, too is performed by the women folk of one of Goa's earliest tribal settlers. This dance is performed during the second half of the month.
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