Free Press Journal

Sao Joao: A festival in Goa celebrated by jumping into wells and lakes       

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sao jao festival

Goa, the ultimate party capital of India is a haven for beach lovers. The destination has a certain magnetic pull that makes it populated with travellers all year around. With the onset of monsoon, Goa gets ready to celebrate its rain festival called ‘Sao Jao’ dedicated to St John the Baptist. Wondering what ‘Sao Jao Festival’ is? Okay. Remember the ‘Matargashti’ song from Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone starrer ‘Tamasha’? Sao Jao is something similar to that with gorgeously dressed people dancing and having fun. The festival is power packed with music, food, dance, fun and fenny. The annual festival is celebrated on June 24th.

Celebrated by the Christian community, Sao Jao Festival is dedicated to St John the Baptist, who baptised Lord Jesus in the river of Jordan. As a symbol of baptism and cleaning, people take a dip in water bodies. Traditionally, a group of people travel all over and take a dive inside wells, ponds, and pools, and then claim a reward of jackfruit and pineapple. In addition, there are various activities planned across the state. Goans consume plenty of fruits during the festival. There is a tradition, wherein families that have newly-married couples exchange foods and gifts with their in-laws.

The major attraction of the festival is the procession organised in the Siolim village in North Goa. In the procession, people are seen wearing crowns of leaves and fruits on heads. Lavish feast marks the end of the festival.