Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) is all set to celebrate Sao Joao on 24 June, 2016, a feast dedicated to St. John the Baptist and is celebrated with much fervour across the state.
Sao Joao is a traditional Goan monsoon festival celebrated on 24 June every year. Goans deck up in colourful costumes, wear fruit and flower laden wreaths called 'kopel' on their heads, move in processions, partake in floats and last but not the least, splash into wells overflowing with rain water.
Sao Joao is the Feast of St. John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus who also baptized Jesus in River Jordan. According to the Biblical story, Mary, the Mother of God broke the news to her sister Elizabeth that she was going to have a baby named Jesus. At that time, Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist who jumped with joy in Elizabeth’s womb on hearing the news. Hence Sao Joao marks the event of ‘the leap of joy’ where young men and boys jump into wells and water bodies shouting ‘Viva Sao Joao’.
GTDC is set to give tourists a taste of the traditions behind Sao Joao on board the Santa Monica from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm on the occasion. The five-hour celebration will include DJ music, dance performances of the Samba, Salsa and Jive, lime dance, bamboo dance, splash dance, the umbrella song, the Sao Joao festachem pursanv and several competitions like laughter contest, coconut breaking contest, saree draping contest, Goff and the magic dress change act.
The tickets for the event are priced at Rs 1,800 per couple, Rs 900 per person and children between 5 and 12 years will be charged Rs. 400, all inclusive of snacks and buffet. Tickets will be available at all GTDC residencies and at the Santa Monica Jetty.
Nilesh Cabral, Chairman of GTDC, said, “Goa’s traditional feast Sao Joao is celebrated by GTDC every year on its cruise boat Santa Monica. This festival is a big draw for tourists to Goa during the monsoons and GTDC ensures that tourists get the real taste of Goa’s traditions and tempting cuisine. This year too, the celebration promises to be exciting and fun-filled and with the monsoons in full gusto, the Sao Joao event organized by GTDC is set for an overwhelming response.”