Shigmo: A festival laden with tradition

Shigmo: A festival laden with tradition

As the 14 day-long Shigmotsav commences in North Goa today, NT BUZZ takes a look at how the festival is celebrated in different parts of Goa

Ramesh Savaikar | NT NETWORK

Shigmotsav, a 14 day-long festival is celebrated by the Hindu community of Goa. The Goan Hindu tradition and mythology is showcased through this festival to mark the farewell of the winter season in the month of Phalguna. It is celebrated from the ninth moon day to full moon day as per the Hindu calendar in South Goa, including Ponda Taluka. This year it will conclude on March 21 with Dhulwad or dhulivandan.

Festivities begin with ‘naman’ on the maand near the village temple, followed by the taking of ‘romatamel’  door to door in village with dancing and singing to the tunes of drums and flutes, presenting performances of folk dances and arts like talgadi, goph and samai nrutya (lamp dance). It concludes on full moon day with Dhulwad or Dhulivandan.

In North Goa however, Shigmotsav begins with the Holi festival on the full moon day of the Phalguna month and concludes on the second last day of Phalguna month.

Here, Shigmotsav begins with ‘naman’ (song) to the village deity and collective obeisance of villagers. In some villages the traditional lamp is lit and villagers take five rounds around the village temple.

The next day, a 4 day-long ‘Shabai’ begins. Villagers dress up in colourful attire and in a festive mood go from door to door asking for gifts locally known as ‘san parabi’. They shout, “Aami ayalya varsan, paise ghala bolsat, Shabai, Shabai”, “Aayancha bayna, ghetlya shivay vayache na shabai”.

People from Gosavi caste, visit people door- to-door sounding the ‘shankha’ (shell) and praying to God ‘Pav Sidha , Bare kar’ and taking their annual ‘parabi’.

On the fifth day of Shigmotsav, groups of youth with colourful dress and multi coloured flags take their ‘pathaks’ (troupes) from house to house. They sing folk songs accompanied to the tune of beating drums and flutes, and perform folk dances like chaurang, morulo, talgadi, dhangar nutrya, samai dance, etc.

Coconut, bananas, rice and money are given to the performers. In response, the performers sing a song locally called ‘tali’ wishing the donor well. The ‘romatamel’ then proceed to the village temple where folk dance performers sing folk songs and folk dances in the temple courtyard to the beat of drums.

In villages like Kudne and Sal, ‘Gade utsav’ is a part of the Shigmo festival while in Sarvan, Bordem and Bicholim- Gaonkarwada  from Bicholim Taluka, the ‘Vratasth dhod’ perform ‘Agnidivya’ where they walk through ‘homkand’ (burning woods ). Ghode modni (a traditional dance) which will be held on March 24 at Gaonkarwado in Bicholim, and at Sarvan village of Bicholim on March 25 is one of the features of Shigmotsav which attracts a large crowd.

On the ninth day of Krishna pakshya (dark lunar night), Kalasotsav is celebrated for 3-4 days. Kalas of the village deity is taken to every home in the village before coming back to the temple.

On the 14th day of the second half, fortnight of Phalguna month - Dhulivandan or Dhulwad,  people smear colour on each other, say goodbye to the outgoing Hindu year and welcome the new Hindu year or Savatsar on Gudi Padwa- the first day of new year.