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.
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).
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
and this is the amazing goff (the ‘ribbon dance’, through co-ordinated dance moves the dancers intertwine numerous ribbons into a braid)
These were interspersed with lots of individual fancy dress 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
and a series of other floats depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata
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!
And three others that were strong contenders were:
The heavenly abode
The Abduction of Sita (Sita Haran) with Rama in close pursuit
Shigmo stands in stark contrast with the commercialisation of Carnival. It is truly a celebration of community, culture and creativity.