24th June of every year is celebrated as the ‘Sao Joao’ (also spelt as ‘San Jao’ & ‘San Joao’) in the state of Goa, especially by the Catholic community. It’s a celebration of joy, fun and excitement in the rains and a typical way to express the contentment is by jumping in the wells full of water, lakes and even rivers, with flowery crowns also called as ‘copels’ in Konkani language. Some locals say, that on this day, St John, the Baptist took a leap in his mother’s womb, and this leap was considered to be the ‘Leap of Joy’. The Sanjao festival gets its name from this saint and pompously celebrated with music and joy.
Another common tradition during this festival is when the newlywed son-in-laws spend time celebrating this festival at their mother-in-laws house. The mother presents their daughters with a fruit basket as a takeaway gift to their new home and then the fruits are distributed to the family, friends, relatives and neighbor to convey the contentment.
For the youth in Goa, San Jao festival is a treat about having fun with the water and getting frolic with the Goan brand of liquors, the ‘cashew fenny’ and ‘urrac’ shouting ‘Viva SanJao’. The day long celebration is truly a time for some trendy Goan music and some Goan origin dances as well.
So if you are in Goa, during this weekend and want to see a true Goan kind of culture which is full of laughter, dance, colorful flowers / fruits and good seafood cuisine for the food lovers, be the part of the San Jao festival in Goa. You will not get this kind of a party anywhere else. A lot of Hotels in Goa also celebrate the SanJao festival for about a week, and you could get ready to participate in groups, with friends and family, as well.