Easter is one of the world’s most popular festivals. Find out more about this festival and how it is celebrated in Goa in this blog post.
What is Easter
Easter is a festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unlike Christmas, which is always celebrated on a fixed date, the date of Easter varies every year as it depends on the Hebrew Calendar and not the Gregorian Calendar. However, as the resurrection is believed to have happened the third day of the crucifixion (Good Friday), it always falls on a Sunday. This year, Easter is on Sunday, 27 March.
Easter celebrations in Goa
Over a quarter of the total population in Goa is Christian, making Easter one of the most popular festivals in the state. Celebrations begin on the day before Good Friday. A feast is held to commemorate the Last Supper as mentioned in the Bible. The next day is observed as Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion.
The celebrations are widespread, but the most spectacular celebrations happen in the capital city of Panaji. While every Church in the state observes easter, The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji is in many ways the focal point of the festivities, attracting the largest crowd. People gather to attend the mass and witness the Way of the Cross. The Way of the Cross is a reenactment of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. A wooden cross is carried down the steps of the church and moved through the streets of the city and then back to the church by clergymen. A huge crowd follows the procession, mostly dressed in formal clothing. Crowds line up on the roadside to witness the procession, with a band playing music to create a solemn setting.
Easter eggs are a popular feature of Easter around the world, symbolising the empty tomb of Jesus. Traditionally, chicken eggs have been decorated with colors and embellishments. More recently, the actual eggs have been replaced with egg-shaped chocolate and jellybeans.
Since Easter marks the end of the 40 day period of Lent, the Easter feast is as delicious as it is lavish. A wide variety of dishes and desserts are prepared for the feast, with some of the most popular ones being:
Vindaloo has an interesting etymology. ‘Vin’ stands for vinegar and ‘ahlo’, pronounced and written as ‘aloo’, means garlic in Portuguese. Consisting of a luscious red masala which is mixed with vinegar laced mutton (or other meats) to form a fiery red gravy, Vindaloo is one of the most relished recipes of Goa. Tender and flaky, spicy and tangy; all at the same time, it leaves your taste buds tingling for more.
A special preparation of every traditional Goan household, Sorpotel is said to be the essence of Goan Christian cuisine. Inspired by a Portuguese dish called Sarabulho, it is a classic that brings the best of Goan and Portuguese cuisine together. It is prepared from pork liver, heart and kidney, all diced and cooked in a thick, spicy sauce.
Pronounced as sha-coo-ti, those indulging in spicy treats would find this preparation heavenly. It uses a wide variety of spices like nutmeg, coriander leaves, green and red chillies, ginger and cloves. Usually served with rice, this recipe is also made with mutton, lamb or fish.
Bebinka (or Bebinca) is a carefully layered cake, equating the taste of perfection. The core ingredients are flour, coconut milk, eggs, butter, and most importantly, jaggery. Also known as Bibik, it tastes like layers and layers (traditionally 16) of coconut pancakes.
Where to stay in Goa during Easter
There are over 200 OYOs located in Panaji, with a number of hotels located within a few kilometers of The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. You can book these hotels here.
And in case you are looking to spend a quieter time in Goa, away from the hustle-bustle of North Goa, you can check out OYOs in South Goa here.
Planning a trip to Goa already? Don’t forget to download the OYO app to stay updated on the latest offers and surprises. You can also check out our Facebook and Twitter handles and participate in our weekly #OYOquiz or tag us in your travel photos on Instagram to stand a chance to win exciting OYO vouchers!
P.s. You might like these related resources:
- Best time to visit Goa, the Asian Paradise
- Top attractions and things to do in GOA
- 30 best Goa tourist places that you simply can’t miss
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