The feast of the Epiphany in Goa to start from January 6

The feast of the Epiphany, also known as the Three Kings Feast, which is celebrated in Goa starts from January 6th.

A very popular event in Goa is the Feast of Three kings. This feast is celebrated on the Festa dos Reis or Three Kings Day (The Epiphany) on January 6 every year. It takes place in the village of Verem in North Goa and those of Chandor and Cansaulim in South Goa. The Feast is celebrated by Christians and non Christians alike and is held in the small, century old stone chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios or Our Lady of Cures. Every year this feast is organized by the “vangodds” of the gauncars (who are the indigenous Goans) of the community of Cansaulim, Arossim and Cuelim. They are also the ones who helped to build the early Church in Goa. The preparation of the festival is carried out almost throughout the year with the final stage being the selection of three young boys for the role of the Three Kings.

Significance
The Lady of Mount is believed to be the protector of the people. She is worshiped as a fertility goddess and married couples who are not able to conceive pray to her for miraculous cures when they want to have children. She is known to fulfill all wishes of a devout person who prays to her at the chapel.

The feast of Three Kings is celebrated mainly to offer prayers and worship Lady of Mount. The idol of the Lady is ornately decorated with jewellery of flowers and gold, garlands, incense and candles and the worshipers offer gifts as a token of gratitude.

Every year thousands of people assemble at the little stone chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Reis to express their gratitude to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception – a lighthouse of faith and courage to its people. On the day of the Epiphany, a High Mass is held at the venue followed by a time of fun and frolic.

A dramatic climax takes place on the last day of the festival, the day of the Epiphany. Three boys ranging in age between eight and ten years from the villages of Cansaulim, Arossim and Cuelim enact the role of the three kings. They travel on horseback and cover miles of distance, each on a different path and converge some distance away from the Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies) on top of the hill at Cuelim.

Dressed in a King’s robe with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh they arrive together at the Chapel to offer the Lady of Mount gifts and prayers. The Kings are led by a little boy beating he kettle drum and followed by a happy crowd rejoicing in the spirit of the feast. The procession is held to commemorate the journey of the three kings who come to see Baby Jesus with gifts. The boys are dressed in elaborate clothing from decorative crowns and gowns fit for royalty. After the rituals, an extensive fair always covers up the entire hilltops. Every small and big item is sold in the fair along with merry-go-rounds and other fun rides. One can purchase anything from an authentic Goan meal to copper and brassware, bangles, spices, clothes, household items, toys, etc.

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