December is the coldest month in India and loveliest of ‘em all! It’s the time when the weather is alluring as ever. Outdoors sing in melancholy, the Sun is mild, waves in the ocean are at their playful best and hearts are closer than ever. While entire India is getting ready to welcome the New Year, Goa – a former colony of the Portuguese, gears up for December 25th. Christmas celebration in Goa is a great carnival when every nook and corner of the place is drenched in lights and decorations.
Christmas in Goa is all about the smell of scented candles, the sound of Christmas carol, and exchange of a lot of gifts! Plan a night out with friends, listen to the ringing sound of church bells, and watch a firework.
Unique experiences for a Christmas celebration in Goa
Christmas is the time when entire Goa basks in festivities and is decked up like a bride. There are plenty of places for a Christmas celebration in Old Goa. The place is dotted with ancient architecture mostly belonging to medieval times. Hit the Goan streets as the festivities are all over the place.
1. Go for a midnight or Mass Missa de Galo
Midnight Mass is a popular event during the New Year Eve. Goa is a special place to celebrate the glorious Christmas night when people bask in the festivities. With almost 400 churches in Goa, people can easily attend a Midnight Mass at one of the churches on the Christmas eve. Nothing gives the satisfying feeling than saying a prayer at Basilica of Bom Jesus – one of India’s oldest churches.
This makes for the perfect place to relish the Christmas festivities. With hymns and Carols all around, you can perfectly make the most of the festive season. Midnight Mass proceedings usually start by 10 pm it is advisable to grab a seat at the church in advance.
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2. Attend a firework show
Every place in Goa is completely drenched in festivity and lights. Watch the cracker show all around, the entire place turns into a dreamy show and is indeed a treat to the eyes! The Old Goa region having most of the churches in Goa experiences the burst of light and one can soak in the exotic festive vibes in the air.
Anjuna Beach offers myriad of colors and light as the entire beach area goes partying until dawn, with the crazy crowd and colorful cracker show it’s one of the most significant things to behold during Christmas celebration during Goa.
3. Eat homemade chocolates during Christmas
Chocolate cakes are so popular in Goa! And it becomes even more delicious when you talk about the Christmas celebration in Goa. The homemade chocolate cakes are so delightful and lip-smacking. Colored Marzipan for Christmas is another popular dish in the offering. There are other mouthwatering Goan dishes that is a must-try for every food lover.
Some of the popular dishes in Goa during Christmas are Bebinca, Neureos, Dodol, and Bath. These dishes can be tried at the popular bakeries in Panjim, Mapusa, Candolim, and Margao to be precise.
4. Attend a Christmas Eve dance
Goa boasts of a nightlife that fewer places can even fancy! On a regular day, especially during the month of December, Goa is lit with party lovers rocking the dancefloor. What’s special during the Christmas is the exciting vibes, great bonhomie and sparkling decorations around. The trance party, techno parties, and rave party in places like Vagator and Anjuna are a must-attend in Goa on the special occasion.
Jive, waltz or fox-trot to the local bands would compel you to sway to their tunes. Those retro numbers and Konkani numbers are just too good for the grand occasion.
5. Enjoy the Christmas evening with a Mandovi River Cruise
Take up a river cruise or arrange a private boat party with your friends, the Christmas is the ideal time to flock to Goa. As you take up a river cruise in Mandovi River you get to experience the magical Christmas evening like never before. An evening spent while cursing on the waters during Christmas celebration in Goa is indeed special.
If you are with your beloved you can indeed plan a romantic candlelight dinner. Go ahead and book a slot for yourself.
Find more details on the Goa tourism website here
6. Burn the Old Man
Burning of the Old Man – the effigies made of stuffed old clothes & hay is a popular Goan tradition in which the locals burn the effigy which marks bidding goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new year. The locals, as they burn the effigy, share the tales and enjoy a glass of Feni – the traditional Goan drink.
7. Be a part of Crib-making and Star-making competition
Christmas crib is a popular attraction during the celebrations in Goa. People participate in various competitions and come up with a multitude of interior design ideas, and furniture. The most prominent ones are those depicting the village of the Jesus. Also, there is a star-making competition held between the locals which are organized on a larger scale with the high-spirited competition.
Additionally, you can also take part in cake mixing ceremony and gourmet lessons wherein festivities are celebrated by mixing cherries, dates, plums and dry fruit with the likes of rum, whiskey, and wine. Crib hopping in Goa and attending to plays and Christmas party across Goa are the other most popular events during Christmas in Goa.
Places to go for Christmas celebration in Goa
You might run out of energy exploring Goa but Goa never runs out of attraction and places to explore! Christmas night is an occasion when the entire Goa refuses to sleep. While kids love to sing carols, smack munchies, and go exploring the gothic churches of Goa, brimming with adornments, adults find their interest in the party place by the beach.
Goa has plenty of colonial architectures to keep you engrossed. The Archbishop’s Palace, Penha de Franca, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Viceroy’s Gate, and Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception are the some of the places that exude old world charm.
1. Old Goa
Old Goa looks the most stunning of them all. The lost charm of Old Goa makes it a favorite during Christmas. Church of St. Francis of Assisi is the center of attraction with people from all over the world flocking to the church and queuing up to catch a glimpse of the mortal remains of the pope. Also, the domed Church of St. Cajetan, inspired by St. Peter’s in Rome, Se Cathedral from the 16th–17th century, and the Chapel of St. Catherine are other prominent structures that must be visited in Old Goa.
2. Anjuna Beach
Think Anjuna, think Shiva Valley and Curlies. Arguably the most happening place in North Goa, this place is quite famous for the rave party, happening crowd. No wonder why this is termed as one of the hotspots in Goa to explore during the Christmas Eve.
* Plan to enter the Curlies by 8 or 9 pm, because as the night progresses, the entry fee increases
3. The best of clubbing/partying hotspots
Clubbing is the best thing to do in Goa. And you don’t need to wait for the Christmas or New Year Eve to hit the popular clubs in Goa. But one thing that stands apart is the electric vibes in the atmosphere of Goa Club. Goa, around the New Year and Christmas, keeps brimming with ecstatic people; people who love partying and want to drench themselves in the festivities. There are a few clubs in the popular Tito’s Lane at the Baga Beach, Club Cabana in Arpora, and the shacks at Anjuna Beach that makes for the most happening places in Goa!
No place in India celebrates Christmas the way Goa does! Pack your bags and just leave. It’s time for lights, camera, and celebrations!
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