Shigmo in Goa is esentially a festival
of the masses. Though it is celebrated under different names and in
different ways in various parts of the country.
It is the festival of farewell to winter celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna (March), the last month of the Hindu calendar.
In Goa, which has always been land of temples, Shigmo begins with Naman or collective obeisance of villagers from 9th moon day to full-moon day. During all these days, they are to 'Shun' non-vegetarian food and all intoxicants.
From the 11th Moon day to the 15th moon day, various village groups clad in their most colorful dresses set out with festive mood with multi-colored cloths, torans, flags and column-like red spoted "Dwajas", beating drums and blowing flutes to gather at the village temples, and dance in the temple court yard singing various folk songs to the beat of the drums.
On the 5th day comes the real day of rejoicing. It is called "Rang Panchami" - it is practised differently at different places. The main function of the day, however, is the profuse use of 'Gulal' or red-powder. It's a symbol of rejoicing, when people throw it on each other as a sign of full-hearted greeting.
A spectacular display of Goan Hindu ethnicity and mythology was on show as the annual Shigmo parade held centerstage on Panjim's 18th June Road on 21st March 2000. Attired in traditional costumes, 13 folk groups consisting of women dancers gave vibrant performances of various "Divli" dances. These were interspersed by 3 Romtamell groups that moved along the route in their traditional Goan drums. The grand finale was provided by nine artistically designed and it up the floats.