VIVA SAO JOAO
24th June is special for all Goans. It’s when Sao Joao – John the Baptist – is remembered with great fervor, when the young and the old jump into wells that are bursting at the seams with monsoon rains. This monsoon feast has special significance for Christiana as it commemorates St John the Baptist leaping for joy in his mother, Elizabeth’s womb, when she heard of Mother Mary’s conception. John the Baptist later went on to baptize Jesus in the river Jordan. The well is a representation of Elizabeth’s womb and a jump into it is a sign of joy for the birth of Christ.
San Joao, like any other Goan feast has that captivating spirit of merriment, colour and tradition. People dressed in colourful outfits gather to watch the display of Sangodd, a decorated floating platform, made by tying two boats or banana tree trunks together, which are then set afloat in nearby streams.
Another highlight is the eating of seasonal fruits like moussarad - a Goan variety of mango, pineapples, jackfruits, and drinking the ubiquitous bottle of feni. The young and old alike sing and dance to the beat of the ghummot and kansallem, wearing lovely coronets or ‘capelas’.
Sao Joao continues to retain its traditional flavour, and this date will always hold a special place in the calendar of Goan nostalgia.