Carnival kicks off in Goa with ‘Communal Harmony’

Panaji, Feb 10 (IANS): While kicking off the carnival in the capital city Panaji on Saturday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that all will have to work together to make Goa the tourism capital of India.

The carnival began in Panaji with a colourfully-decorated float parade on the theme of environment and health, among other things.

Speaking to reporters after flagging off the parade, Pramod Sawant said, “We have to work towards making Goa the tourism capital of the country by giving safety to tourists.”

Sawant added that even foreigners were participating in the carnival.

“We need to promote spiritual tourism by taking people of all faiths together,” he said.

Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said that Goa is promoting spiritual, cultural and traditional tourism.

“We have to portray our rich tradition and culture,” he said. “Through the carnival we are spreading a message of communal harmony by celebrating it together. International and domestic tourists do take part in such celebrations and enjoy it,” he said.

Among chants of ‘Viva Carnival’, youths danced on western and Konkani tracks.

Carnival processions, symbolic of Goa's Portuguese legacy, involve public celebration in the form of long parades of colourful floats, with masqueraded dancers, led by King Momo, the king of the carnival.

King Momo is usually a locally-chosen dignitary who is given a symbolic key to the city and formally announces the festivities open.

Similar parades will be organised in other towns in the state in the coming days, till February 13.



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Title: Carnival kicks off in Goa with ‘Communal Harmony’

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