India is well known for its numerous and often times, strange rituals and customs. Being yet another part of India that it is, it’s no surprise that one might find a few of Goa’s customs a bit weird too.
Every Indian state is unique. We all have weird habits that foreigners don’t necessarily understand. Goa is no different. Here are 5 things Goans do that might make outsiders tilt there head and ask, “why?”
5. Offering Cucumbers for blessings at Touxeachem Feast, Goa
The Touxeachem is a very popular feast celebrated in Goa. It is celebrated at the magnificent Church of St Anne also known as the Santana Church located at Talaulim in North Goa.
Young couples come to the Church to seek the blessings of St Anne, who herself was blessed with a child after 40 years of barren life. They buy cucumbers from local vendors at the feast and offer them at the feet of St Ann in return for a favour. Each person usually offers 2 cucumbers and then carry them home to eat. Besides the huge number of devotees from all around Goa, devotees from across the State also throng the church on the feast day.
4. Goa’s Chilli and Salt Voodoo
Say hello to ‘dishtt’, a traditional Goan ritual that involves taking some chillies and salt and lightly rubbing them along the body and limbs of the chosen one. The chillies and salt that are said to have ‘absorbed’ the bad voodoo are then flung into a fire.
Sometimes, the possessed chillies are disposed off at a crossroad, with hopes that the evil spirits will probably jump someone else. If you ever find a pile of chillies fallen on the street, avoid stepping on them. Just in case 😉
The humble chilli. Saving your souls, one spirit at a time.
3. Tying threads and flip flops around a tree
How could we not mention the Vata Purnima ritual. On this auspicious day, women dress in their finest and tie cotton threads around the trunk of a banyan or peepal tree. Women, old and young join in as they pray for the prosperity and longevity of their husbands.
The typing of chappals (Flip Flops) to trees signifies that the owner is trying to ward off the evil eye of strangers and the never ending empty gossips of the neighbourhood aunties. The latter of which is far more terrifying. 😛
2. Adults wrestling in wet mud at Chikal Kalo, Goa
Chikal kalo is a unique Goan festival that happens every year at Marcel in Ponda taluka, during the month of July. Here you will see adult men, teenagers and children all alike, happily frolicking in wet mud, covered from head to toe in the brown mucky stuff.
After the temple rituals on that auspicious day, the devotees smear oil on their bodies and the fun begins. The rain gods or a water tanker makes the ground nice and muddy, and then its childhood all over again. This festival is to reminisce the fun and naughty childhood of Lord Krishna.
1. Bathing in Eggs and coconut milk : Roce Ceremony in Goa
The Ceremony of Roce or Ros in Goa originated as a beautification ritual, with oil, turmeric, coconut milk and other soothing liquids and pastes being applied on the skin and hair of the bride to be.
But now, it often becomes a merry making event where the relatives and friends gang up to play pranks on the hapless bride or even the groom. So along with the rejuvenating pastes, a mischievous relative may pour egg yolk of dubious vintage, and may even sneak some fish water in the mix, thus letting off an unholy stink.
What weird customs do you have in your home state? Let us know in the comments down below.
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Featured Image by Samrudha Amonkar