Panaji Viva Carnival is a parade of floats that customarily begins with this float with King Momo declaring that in his reign people should just eat, drink and be merry.
Going through the tree-lined streets of Panaji this float looks beautiful but kind of raises the hopes for what would follow this float. Did they meet the expectation let’s see.
Clowns followed King Momo’s float, entertained the crowd, and posed with them.
After King Momo’s float, all we saw were floats with social messages – one to save girl children, another to save frogs and crocodiles, to save the environment, etc. After a while, I started missing the entertainment factor and it became too much preaching. Not sure, if that was the idea of the carnival. Last year I could see the crowds getting inside the barricades and dancing with the Viva Carnival dancers but this time, the carnival dances were few and far and had the least enthusiasm to inspire others to join them.
I would not blame them, though – it is not easy to dance on a mile-long route for the better part of the afternoon.
Faces of Viva Carnival 2015
Found the use of vibrant colors by two very different women, both part of the same crowd.
Some of the participants of the Viva Carnival were wearing colorful masks and make-up. They provided color to the whole environment.
Some men dressed as King Momo and some painted themselves all silver or golden. They happily posed for every camera, even suggested poses to camera-carrying, spectators. The one in silver was a true artist, I saw him making at least 20 different poses for each person who wanted to get clicked with him.
Finally, it was the children in the crowd who brought cheer, especially during the long delays of the floats. These three girls were too happy to pose while for the young children, I had to wait and watch and catch them at the right moment.
My take on Carnival – the quality of floats can be way better. They can do away with the excessive use of plastic and the thermocol. People should be allowed to participate otherwise it becomes very boring to see some preachy floats just passing by. Entertainment – the dosage needs to be increased a lot. I do not believe 3 lakh plus tourists came to Goa for the carnival. I did not say any. Most of the people in the crowd were young parents with their children and lots of camera-carrying photo enthusiasts.
If you happen to be in Goa at the time of the carnival to attend it, you may be disappointed if you travel solely to attend the carnival.