Bonderam festival of Goa
Goa is a place of different communities and each of them have their own unique traditions and festivals. Goan festivals are quite different from the rest of India and most of them are unrelated to religions. One such festival is the Bonderam festival.
The Bonderam festival is celebrated in the Divar island of Goa. The island is located 12 kms from Panjim lying in the river Mandovi in Goa. The festival is known for its colourful tableaux, the carnival type of environment and the feast.
The feast of Bonderam is celebrated on fourth Saturday of the month of August.
History of the Bondelam festival
Bonderam comes from the Portuguese word 'flag'. The story of Bonderam festival is quite interesting. In the past there were many disputes between the sections of village (Piedalda and Sao Mathias) over land encroachment. These disputes many times took ugly turn and sometimes led to deaths. The Portuguese came up with placing flags to mark the areas which the villagers were unable to get. This move was highly protested and they threw stones at the flags to mark their displeasure.
This sad past has been parodized in a manner by celebrating the 'Bonderam festival'.
Every year in the month of August, the villagers organise a march with various flags of various colours fixed on one end of a bamboo stem along with a marching band. People throng to the streets to have a glimpse of the colourful parade where various people perform dance to the music.
Mock battles are held between people to remind of the days of rivalry in order to remember the lesson they learned from it. Toy weapon made of bamboos are used as guns and wild berries as missiles. People fire at each other and have a good time. These fights are taken in good spirit and later on gather people together to have a feast together.
During the festival a grand feast is also held attended by the various communities of the Goa. People decorate their houses and wear new clothes on this day.
The festival is really awesome and tourists must try to attend this festival if one is visiting Goa.
How to reach Divar island
Divar island is well connected to the mainland Goa through roads. Various buses are available from Panjim. Also one can take taxis and rented vehicles.
More articles: Goa festivals