Bonderam Festival: The reason to visit Goa this monsoon

Goa is the number one in everyone’s bucket list of dream destinations. Goa never ceases to blow our minds away with its amazing beaches, breathtaking exotic parties, glamorous night life, finger-licking seafood and over-the-top shopping outlets and you can enjoy all of this in 5-star resorts in Goa with private beach. There is a lot more to Goa than the bright sun, sandy beaches, and amazing nightlife.

There are a lot of stupendous must-attend festivals in the monsoons in Goa – Grape Escapade, Goa Carnival, Goa Food & Music Festival, Goa Mango Festival, Sunburn Goa, Goa Arts & Literary Festival, Shigmo Festival and not to forget, the best among them all, “Bonderam Festival”. Bonderam Festival is a mega festival of Goa celebrated on 4th Saturday in August every year in Divar Island, 12 km from Panjim.

We will walk you through the facts about the Bonderam Festival held in monsoons in Goa.

  1. Origin of the Bonderam Festival

Origin of the Bonderam Festival.jpg

“Bonderam” originates from the Portuguese word “Bandeira” which means flags. According to the history, when the Portuguese ruled in Goa, there were always fights and bloody duels about property between the two parts of the Diwar village. To take stock of the situation, the Portuguese introduced a system which used flags to identify the boundaries of the two sections, Sao Mathias and Piedade. When the Portuguese introduced the flags to the two sections of the Diwar village, the rival groups of Sao Mathias and Piedade brought down each other’s flags to show their anger.

  1. Parody of the Past

Parody of the Past

The fight of Sao Mathias and Piedade is now commemorated with “Fotash”. Fotash is a fight between people where they use toy weapons (that are made using the bamboo stem) and soft missile weaponry (berries or peppercorn) to knock down each other’s flags imitating the past. This ritual is now discontinued as this had the danger of eye injuries to people.

  1. How to reach Divar Island

How to reach Divar Island

This is one of the unique monsoon festivals in Goa that you would never want to miss. You can reach the Divar island to attend the fantabulous fiesta via ferry from Ribandar to Old Goa. Your ferry will be draped with colourful flags that will give lead your path towards the mystifying mega celebration of Goa.

Once you reach to the dock of the Divar Island, you can drive straight towards the place where the festival is being held. If you want to enjoy the evening of the fiesta with a fresh start at the beautiful island instead of getting tired from the travel, you can book your stay in the best hotels in Goa that are located near Divar Island a few days prior to the festival.

  1. Divar Island comes to life

Divar Island comes to life

Divar Island becomes colourful and lively on the day of the Bonderam festival. People in the island start with the preparations from the early dawn. Music starts drifting throughout the village and reverberates in every street and corner in the surroundings. The festival starts at noon.

  1. And the Celebration begins…

And the Celebration begins…

The Bonderam festival begins with the opening ceremony comprising of the Flag Parade. After the parade, the zealous celebration reaches the height of zenith with the beautiful fancy dress competition and the conventional & traditional float parade that will take your breath away. Sounds exciting, right? What are you waiting for? You can plan your journey to Goa this monsoon and book your stay in the 5-star hotels in Goa packages for a luxurious as well as enriching experience with the mind-boggling touch of the Bonderam festival.

Wait…there is more. Have a look at some more specialities about the Bonderam Festival.

  1. The Traditional Float Parade

 

<> on February 12, 2017 in Viareggio, Italy.

Bonderam festival starts out as a carnival of fun and frolic with its traditional float parade. In this parade, each of the six wards in the Divar Island prepares their own custom float and try to build it as eye-catching as possible. These floats that are sponsored by the business houses in Divar are then sent to the parade. Each float has a distinguished local flavour to it that makes it stands out from the rest. You can also see live music and band along with the parade.

  1. The Colourful Monsoon Festival

The Colourful Monsoon Festival.jpg

The Bonderam Festival is one of the vibrant and colourful celebrations in Goa. Youngsters come out being dressed in colourful and beautiful attire to at to the zinger of the gala. People from the neighbouring regions of the Divar Island come and join in the joyful celebration.

  1. Best places to stay in the Divar Island

Best places to stay in the Divar Island

Divar Island in Goa offers an astoundingly amazing and opulent experience of a lifetime, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. There are great options on the island where you can choose to stay. You can do your research and do the Goa hotels booking that has the best services and proximity to the site of the festival.

Now that you know the specialities and some fun facts about the Bonderam Festival, you might want to pack your bags and plan out a trip in the monsoons to witness the most unique and incredible festivals in Goa. To top this trip a notch, you can visit the famous beaches such as the Calangute beach in Goa which is located just 66 km from the Divar Island.

You can book your stay in hotels in Calangute Goa and enjoy the beauty of the best beach in Goa – the Calangute. After you enjoy your days in Calangute, you can move to the Divar Island one or two days before the Bonderam festival. This monsoon, you are going to have a lot of fun! Kudos, people!

Goa – My Escapade

5 star hotels in north goa
Though it may be the smallest state in India, Goa has surely a lot to offer.  From relaxation on  secluded beaches to rockin’ your socks off with fellow backpackers or simply exploring the ruins of old Portuguese forts and the charming city of Panaji,  Goa has something to suit everyone’s palate. For me,  I love to do a bit of everything and mix it all up a little.

In this article, I will give you a shortlist of each of the places I visited during my holiday in Goa, trying to give you a few handy tips along the way

palolem beach , five star hotels in north goaPalolem beach

After getting off a 14 hour overnight bus from Cochin, Kerala, my first stop was Palolem. Located in Canacona, South Goa, Palolem is known to be inhabited by many foreigners.  Beautiful stretches of golden sand with a stunning turquoise beach, Palolem is very small, with enough amenities to satisfy your basic needs. Accommodation here is reasonably priced as there are plenty of chilled out beach huts/resorts all along the main beach, haggle your heart out for the price though as bargaining is really the way to go about for everything.


agonda-beachAgonda Beach

To the north of Palolem is an even more relaxing and quiet Agonda beach. There really isn’t a lot to do here except to chill and soak up the sun. Something I would strongly recommend to do whilst you are here is to hire mopeds and ride to Cabo de Rama fort. It’s just a few hours drive and the route is simply breathtaking which makes for a great half day excursion.

panaji, north goa hotels, goa north hotelsPanaji

Further up north, overlooking the Mandovi river is Panaji, Goa’s capital city. Walking down the bylanes, you can get a glimpse of colourful villas, paved streets and old architectural buildings that represent the old Portuguese era. Many famous restaurants and international clothing brands are ideally situated here.

Stay and Accommodation near beaches

There are many accommodation choices available in Goa starting from cheap resorts to expensive. From budget hostels near Calangute Beach to Hard Rock (one of  the 5 star hotels in north Goa), North Goa has a place to stay for all kind of travelers. While south Goa too has options, they are not as comfortable as the ones in north Goa.

Glam, Glitterati and Grandeur of Goa

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Goa is a melting pot of activities when it comes to entertainment at weddings. While the main ceremony along-with the rituals are celebrated with great pomp and grandeur, it’s the entertainment and performing acts that steal the show. From popular DJs, star performers, celebrities and peppy bands to ribbon dancers, belly dancers, fire dancers and illusionists, there are a lot of options to keep the wedding group engaged and entertained.

Weddings in Goa are occasions that people look forward to. Relatives and friends are flown in from different parts of the globe to be a part of the celebrations. The bride and groom ensure that their requirements right from travel to accommodation is taken care of till the last detail. Special dinners and themed parties are organized, along with city tours for the guests. Illuminated ‘wish’ lanterns are set off followed by a dazzling display of fireworks as a tribute to the couple.

Poolside brunches, relaxing spa treatments and other exciting group activities are some of the other offerings atop the wedding planners list. This is followed by a fun-filled evening with fire acts, snake charmers, folk dances and live music setting the right mood for the occasion. The wedding night comes alive with song, dance and merriment as the bride and groom celebrate their day in the company of friends and family.

Reviews of some top hotels of Goa

San Joao Festival of Goa

We planned our trip to Goa around the festival of Sao-Jao. San Jao is celebrated on 24th June and during this time the newly wed son in laws are invited at their mother-in-laws home to celebrate with floral crowns, dance and feni. One of my friend was invited and we took the liberty to plan our trip to coincide with his visit.

During monsoon and if you like rain, Goa is a heaven and you can get a chance to capture the beauty of the lush green countryside.

We have visited Goa before and a lot of times, during Christmas and during off season as well. Trust me it is too crowded to enjoy with family or too sunny to enjoy on the beach. Goa can definitely promise you a sunburn. We enjoyed most in our trip during last week of June till mid July.

The best advantages are – you can travel cheap, very cheap during this season. We took a bus trip from Mumbai and stayed at Hard Rock Hotel in Calangute. Water sport and other adventure games that cost sky high would come cheaper, more than 50% during monsoon.