Goa begins preparations to celebrate Sao Joao on June 24

Tuesday, May 31, 2016,13:07 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Panaji | With less than a month left for Carnival-like Sao Joao festival in Goa, the state tourism department has begun marketing the event to attract maximum tourists.

Sao Joao is a traditional Goan festival celebrated on June 24every year, State tourism department said in a statement here.

The carnival-like atmosphere adds to the charm of the monsoons where Goansdeck up in colourful costumes,wear fruitand flower laden wreaths called kopel (throne) on their heads, move in processions,partake infloats and last but not the least, splash into wells overflowing with rain water, the department said.

Sao Joao isthe Feast of St. John, the Baptist, the cousin ofJesus who also baptised Jesus in River Jordan.

According to the biblicalstory,Mary, the Mother of God broke the newsto her sister Elizabeth that she was going to have a baby named Jesus.

At that timeElizabeth was pregnant with John theBaptist who jumped with joy in Elizabeths womb on hearing the news, the department said quoting the mythological story.

Hence Sao Joaomarksthe event of the leap of joy whereyoungmen and boysjump intowells and water bodies shouting Viva Sao Joao, it adds.

The Sao Joao celebrations begins fromsunrise to sunset and is filled with music, dance, food,fruits, Goan beverages anda lot more. A lot of gifts are left at the bottom of the wells for the young men and boys who take theplunge, it added.