Goa begins preparations to celebrate Sao Joao on June 24

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Panaji | Published: May 31, 2016 10:57:38 AM

With less than a month left for Carnival-like Sao Joao festival in Goa, the state tourism department has begun marketing the event to attract maximum tourists.

goaSao Joao is a traditional Goan festival celebrated on June 24 every year. (Reuters)

With less than a month left for Carnival-like Sao Joao festival in Goa, the state tourism department has begun marketing the event to attract maximum tourists.

“Sao Joao is a traditional Goan festival celebrated on June 24 every year,” State tourism department said in a statement here.

“The carnival-like atmosphere adds to the charm of the monsoons where Goans deck up in colourful costumes, wear fruit and flower laden wreaths called kopel (throne) on their heads, move in processions, partake in floats and last but not the least, splash into wells overflowing with rain water,” the department said.

“Sao Joao is the Feast of St. John, the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus who also baptised 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,” the department said quoting the mythological story.

“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’,” it adds.

The Sao Joao celebrations begins from sunrise to sunset and is filled with music, dance, food, fruits, Goan beverages and a lot more.

A lot of gifts are left at the bottom of the wells for the young men and boys who take the plunge, it added.

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