Goa cancels major festivities over Covid surge

Panaji:  The Goa government on Friday announced the cancellation of the official celebration of Shigmo, a popular indigenous peasant festival, due to rise in Covid-19 cases in the coastal state.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Legislative Assembly during the ongoing Budget Session, that the SOPs should be followed strictly in public events like festivals and weddings, while also urging hotels not to host large gatherings on the occasion of the upcoming Holi festival.

“The government is cancelling Shigmo due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Goa… Health comes first, festivals can be held every year,” Sawant told the state assembly during Zero Hour. Shigmo can be celebrated in small numbers at local temples, he said.

Shigmo, or Shishirotsava is a spring festival celebrated in Goa. Reckoned as the indigenous variant of the Portuguese-oriented Carnival, the Hindu festival of Shigmo, is marked by the boisterous celebration of colour and music and decorated float parades in various parts of the state.

It is also a notified state festival and is celebrated by the Konkani community.

Sawant also urged hotels against hosting large Holi parties, in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the state, where the daily count has nearly touched 200.

“Hotels should enforce restrictions during the Holi festival. No large scale programmes should be announced,” Sawant said.


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