Goa has a unique blend of socio-religious culture. Being a predominantly Roman Catholic society, there are more Christian festivals in Goa. The Goanese calendar is marked by several feast days, thanksgiving, monsoon celebrations, and processions, and the temples and churches of Goa are unique in their celebration of these festivals. Shigmo, the Goanese version of Holi, is celebrated in the month of February and March. The Yatra of Shree Lairai Temple in Sirigao, features the Dhond, devotees, walking through the Homakund, fire.
The Feast of Our Lady of Miracles, celebrated 16 days after the Easter, is secular by nature and is celebrated with pomp and show by both Hindus and Christians. The feast of the three kings at Reis Magos Cuelim and the feast of St Francis Xavier, at Old Goa held in December every year are unique and elaborate. Igitun Chalne, held at Sirigao temple in Bicholim during May, is one of Goa is most distinctive festivals. The main attraction of the festival comes when devotees of Goddess Lairaya walk across burning coals to prove their devotion.
The Gabin Tower Memorial Festival was a large Goa festival, which took place between August 4, 2006 and August 6, 2006 on the site of the former Warsaw Radio Mast (also known as Gabin Tower) at Gabin, Poland as remember for the 15th anniversary of its collapse. Gabin Tower Memorial Festival was one of the largest Goa festivals in Europe and visited by 18043 people. Gabin Tower Memorial Festival offered contrary to other Goa parties also some very interesting non-musical highlights,like a laserbeam directed to the sky, mass-launches of balloons carrying a lightstick (a balloon-carried light effect), special contests for radiofreaks and a pickpocket contest, at which one had to try to steal dolls equipped with sensoric equipment something out of their pockets.
The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) (sometimes referred to as the India International Film Festival) is a ten-to-eleven day film festival organised by the Indian Directorate of Film Festivals and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The first IFFI was held in 1952; since 1975, it has been held annually. The thirty sixth festival was held in Goa, between the 24th of November and the 4th of December 2005. The 37th IFFI was held from November 23 to December 3 2006, in the coastal state of Goa. This festival’s top prize- the Golden Peacock will also carry along with it a cash prize of a million rupees, and goes to the director of the prize-winning film.
The most promising director gets a silver peacock and a cash prize of half-a-million rupees (Rs 500,000). There’s also a special jury award, of a silver peacock and a cash prize of half-a-million rupees for an individual’s artistic contribution. As usual, this festival is being organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, of the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in collaboration with the State Government of Goa and the Indian film industry. This festival is recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).
The FIAPF (the French acronym for the International Federation of Film Producers Associations) was created in 1977. It is an organization composed with 31 member associations from 25 of the leading audiovisual production countries. FIAPF is also in charge of supervising international film festivals, including some of the world’s most important ones. Organisers said the festival being held for the third time in Goa, after moving out of New Delhi aims at providing a typical platform for the cinematographies of the world to project the excellence of the film art.It is goal also includes contributing to the understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations in the context of their social and cultural ethos, and promoting friendship and co-operation among peoples of the world.
For the competition, films must be feature-films completed between August 2005 and August 2006. Rules for the festival say that except for films produced in India, the film should not have been shown in India. Selection of Indian films for the competition will be done from the entries of Indian Panorama feature films. Films for the festival must also be made by directors of Asian, African and Latin American descent and produced in an Asian or African or Latin American country. There are separate rules for co-productions.