Shigmo Saturday

Shigmo (Shigmotsav/Shimga) is often called the Goa’s version of Holi (Rang Panchami). The annual Shigmo parade held on Panaji’s 18th June Road is the culmination of Shigmo celebrations. The parade is a kaleidoscope of Goa’s Hindu roots through folk dances in resplendent traditional costumes and larger than life floats depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

Shigmo Goa - the stage

There are three categories on display: fugdi, romtamel and tableaux

The procession is led by a series of such Kunbi dances (a folk dance performed by village tribal women, dressed up in colourful sarees).

Shigmo Goa - Fugdi

The Romtamel included various village groups clad in their festive colors, their pulsating drums and blowing flutes accompanied with multicolored cloths, torans, flags and column-like red spotted Dwajas

Shigmo Goa - RomtamelShigmo Goa - Romtamel

and this is the amazing goff (the ‘ribbon dance’, through co-ordinated dance moves the dancers intertwine numerous ribbons into a braid)

Shigmo Goa - Goff

These were interspersed with lots of individual fancy dress entrants…

Shigmo Goa - Individual entrantsShigmo Goa - Individual entrants

And finally came the sights that I was waiting for the whole evening… chitrarath… the shigmo floats!

It began with Laxmi bestowing blessings on everyone

Shigmo Goa - Laxmi

and a series of other floats depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata

Shigmo Goa - The ExileShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo Goa

The waking of Kumbakarana, complete with a two-truck long float and the evil laugh hehe hahaha (which left me in splits!) was a sure shot prize winner!

Shigmo Goa - Waking Kumbakarana

And three others that were strong contenders were:

Shigmo Goa - Heaven on a float

The heavenly abode

Shigmo Goa - Abduction of Sita

The Abduction of Sita (Sita Haran) with Rama in close pursuit

Shigmo Goa and The Dance of Shiva

Shigmo stands in stark contrast with the commercialisation of Carnival. It is truly a celebration of community, culture and creativity.

One response to “Shigmo Saturday

  1. Loved the pictures…. A lovely kaleidoscope of colours!
    An interesting legend about the romtamel is that, it is a depiction of the procession which accompanied Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman when they entered Ayodhya after the end of their exile. So the next time you find yourself watching a romtamel, you can have a story to go with it….
    A beautifully captured event!

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