If you’re looking for a holiday destination with a difference for a getaway early on in 2013, consider everything Goa has to offer. The south-Indian state is a great choice if you want to combine culture, beaches and activities.
February is a particularly good month to visit the region, thanks to the exciting events going on and the great weather. Here are the main reasons why it’s worth booking a holiday to Goa at this time.
You might think that Goa is a great destination to choose at any time of the year, but if you’re after sunshine and no rain, this is, in fact, not the case. The state typically experiences its monsoon period between April and September, when it is much wetter and more humid.
Travelling in February is therefore a good option, as you will be in Goa towards the end of its dry season and can fully appreciate the glorious weather. What’s more, you’ll have just missed out on the busiest season (Christmas and new year), when the hotels tend to be packed and the beaches are crowded.
If you’re keen to get in the water while you’re in Goa, it’s advisable to travel to the state before the monsoon season arrives, as the sea will typically become rougher once the rains begin, which means it’s not safe to swim at most of Goa’s beaches.
Goa has a spectacular carnival celebration every year and, in 2013, this falls between February 9th and 12th. The three-day event sees people take to the streets all over the state to participate in lively processions that feature colourful floats, music, dancing and plenty of outlandish costumes. One of the main ‘stars’ of the Goa carnival is King Momo, the king of chaos.
You’ll typically see him leading a band of musicians, acrobats, dancers, fire-eaters and other performers in the procession that marks the beginning of Lent. Interestingly, the revelry was introduced to Goa nearly 500 years ago by the Portuguese when they occupied the state.
The celebrations have altered somewhat since their first incarnation, when the Portuguese led the festivities, with the locals getting involved in the fun nowadays alongside all the tourists and visitors who flock to Goa each year to see the spectacle.
The carnival is not the only celebration to take place in February, with several Hindu festivals being held at various temples all over Goa. One of the biggest is at the Shri Mangesh temple in Ponda and pays tribute to Lord Shiva, the deity which this place of worship is dedicated to.
During the festival called Mahashivarati Jatra, the temple is decked out with colourful decorations, flowers are sold around its entrance and the interior is beautifully lit by its seven-tier lamp stand.
Music lovers, meanwhile, should plan to stay in or near the Goan capital of Panaji during Feburary, as the Pop, Beat and Jazz Music Festival is held here around the middle of the month (precise dates for 2013 have yet to be confirmed).
The festivities centre around the Kala Academy and it is here that you’ll find a full schedule of all the performances during the event. Musicians from Goa and elsewhere in the world all come together at this time of the year to play contemporary music and entertain the crowds.
If you’re planning a trip to Goa early in 2013, let us know what made you decide to travel to India during this period.