Novidade is one of the prominent festivals of Goa and is celebrated with equal enthusiasm and jauntiness by both Hindus and Christians in Goa. The Novidade festival marks the beginning of the harvesting season, where the farmers of both religions offer their first rice crop to the church before proceeding with further harvesting.

Celebrations

During the festival of Novidade, the parish priest plays the role of the harvester by himself harvesting a bunch of rice and offering the same sheaf before the altar of the God. This ritual of offering the first harvested sheaf is considered very auspicious in Goa and farmer belonging to any religions wait for the traditional Novidade ceremony before commencing the harvesting in his field.

The ceremony of offering first harvest is celebrated with lots of excitement and gaiety by all people in Goa. Priest of the church is accompanied on his way back to church from the fields, forming the stunning procession. People enjoy and excitedly sing hymns and melodious songs in chorus voice. Carnival is also marked by sparkling fire works.

The special trend is also practiced by women of Goa s earliest tribal settlers. The folk dance called Bhandup is performed by the tribal women in the elegant form during the second half of the month

Time for Celebration

The festival of Novidade is celebrated with religious integrity and tolerance in the months August and September. According to Hindu calendar, the festival is celebrated in the month of Bhadra-Pada.

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