Goa, which witnesses various unique festivals, is gearing up for Tripurari Poornima, an annual celebration having an interesting story behind, which is celebrated to mark the end of the Diwali season. The festival will be held on November 14, at Vithalapur in Sanquelim, Goa.
According to mythology, Lord Krishna defeated and killed the Demon Tripur on the day of Kartik Purnima. The people celebrated Krishna’s victory and the end of the demon’s tyranny by releasing lamps in the river. Since then it has been a tradition all over India to release small lamps in the river during the time of Diwali and especially Kartik Purnima.
An interesting element about the way this is celebrated in Goa is the distinctive local touch. The tradition takes the form of an unusual competition – that of making miniature models boats and ships made out of thermocol and other materials.
The ship building competition has become the main highlight of the festival drawing a large number of spectators and participants from all over Goa. The festivities take place at Vithalapur in Sanquelim, Goa near the Pundalik Temple. The river Valvanti flows nearby, making it an ideal spot for the boat competition. The celebrations start in the evening as the palanquin of Lord Vithal is brought amidst chanting and to the accompaniment of traditional music to be kept on the banks of the river where it remains until the end of the boat competition.
Besides the main boat competition, there are a host of cultural programmes including songs by well known artistes, performances of various Goan traditional folk dances such as Goff, Dhalo, Tonyamel, Veerbhadra, Samai Dance etc, along with a display of fireworks. As the competition progresses the competitors boats are brought and displayed near the shore.
Another attraction is the boats that come in different shapes and sizes. Some are miniature replicas of actual ships while others are simple, traditional crafts. Most are decorated with colourful papers and even have small lights fitted inside them. The festival concludes by giving award prizes to the best designed boats.