Goans were their usual festive and colourful selves on 24th June 2009 celebrating the feast of St John the Baptist all over Goa commonly known as the day of Sao Joao. The common sights were of people in all parts of Goa lustily cheering in water bodies such as wells, pools, lakes, ponds and swimming pools. Despite the rains playing truant thanks to the strange weather prevailing in the state at present, the chant of "viva Sao Joao' unmistakably rent the air all over Goa while drenched revellers made hay with friends neighbours and family.
In Siolim, the boat parade on the Chapora tributary halted opposite the St Anthony's church where all the participants adorned the huge cross with "kopels". As the evening wore on, the whole area was packed with Sao Joao revellers who were also being entertained with a variety of programmes conducted from a well set up stage. So cultural dances, konkani songs and alive band accompanied the revelry of the people who had come from far and wide to witness this unique tradition at Siolim during the Sao Joao festival. The boats were colourfully dressed as their occupants were in a vibrant mood with similar coloured clothing and innovative "kopels" adorning their heads.
Similar celebrations were held in areas of Rodrigues vaddo, Tereiro vaddo and Gaunsavaddo in Siolim with traditional instruments such as Ghumot wonderfully beating to the wanton song. So as the revellers chanted and passed through he village, they halted at various chapels to offer prayers and the crosses were adorned with the "kopels".
In Salcete celebrations were held all over with various people from all walks of life joining in the fun and the revelry. In Benaulim revellers were seen moving around for the next bountiful water body and wells were a favorite here as there are many of them in the village. In Colva, the revellers were seen marching with the traditional palm stick "piddo" as they were chanting the Sao Joao song in which that line "oslim festam vorsak kiteak dhonn pauti enam" seemed to beautifully lament about the impending need for the feast to come more than once every year.
In Anjuna in North Goa,there was a traditional procession in which the wards of Batim, Zor, Grande Chinvar and Pequeno Chinvar all came together and made their way to the spring in Zorivaddo while also offering prayers at all the chapels on the way. "Sanna" and "Godshem" were offered by people from those homes which have an impending marriage or a birth of someone in their house.
At Baga, one could not miss the traditional Sangodd as people lined up on the Arpora bank of the Baga creek to watch the performances aboard a floating Sangodd. A Sangodd is made up of boats tied together with a platform in between them and various humorous and satire filled songs and dialogues are performed on this platform to the cheer of the crowd and the accompaniment of the brass band wherever required. Men masquerading as women are also a common sight at this event.