Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goa Festivals : Ribandar and Candolim celebrate the Sangodd

Fishermen in Goa consider June 29th as the sacred day which has been traditionally dedicated to  their patron saint, St Peter. On this day instead of venturing out to catch fish, the fishermen of Ribandar tie three of their traditional wooden canoes  together to form the Sangodd. Palm leaves and other flora are then used to decorate the Sangodd which is made to resemble a chapel.

The Sangodd celebrations in Ribandar commence early morning at 6.30 when the parish priest of the Ribandar Church marches to the beat of the brass band along with a confraria member who clutches to a statue of St Peter and all of them board  the well decorated Sangodd which is waiting for their oncoming. The priest subsequently blesses the village and the river and prays for the fishermen and seeks blessings for their welfare while fishing.

The Sangodd later returns to the jetty and the holy mass is celebrated at the Church. This tradition has been brought down the ages and is over 100 years old wherein the faithful in the village are convinced of the power of the blessings on this day for God to protect them and also provide them with a good catch.

The Sangodd is also celebrated at Orda in far away Candolim which is also another spectacle to watch in the Candolim creek. Sangodd at Orda is known to be celebrated for the last 200 years as most people from Orda were known to be traditional fishermen. Traditionally people from this area were known to keep their daily work routine aside for the day and use their boats to celebrate the feast with a lot of pomp and gaiety.

goa sangoddA chapel of Santa Cruz which is over 130 years old stands by the creek at Orda and the members of the Santa Cruz chapel committee who organise the Sangodd continue with the tradition of erecting a chapel on top of the Sangodd  which was earlier done with bamboos and cloth.

However, nowadays in recent modern times, a neat plywood structure is being erected on the boat instead of a temporary structure. The Holy cross is placed at the topmost point of the chapel and a statue of St Peter is carried out from the holy cross chapel in a ceremony and placed in a small niche just below the cross.

As afternoon sets in, around 2.30 pm an opening hymn is sung by the locals of Orda and subsequently professional singers take over. This year on 29th June 2009, a large number of Konkani artists which included Anil, Olga, Socorro d e Santa cruz, Sonia, Albert, T Britton besides various child artistes and local artistes performed live on board the Sangodd.

Once the gathered crowd is entertained enough, the Sangodd moves to another location to regale another section of the crowds at another point down the creek. After the first point, five more stops are made as the artistes perform much to the excitement and thrill of the large gathered crowds. Slogans such as Viva Sao Pedro can be well heard.

In Salcete, the Sangodd is celebrated at Assolna at round 3 pm along the river sal at three different places. The first point is at the jetty behind the Church, the next one is at Collean Dando at Assolna and the third one is at Ambelim. All of them tie their fishing boats together and erect a stage on board the raft. Various artists sing on these Sangodds which are witnessed by curious crowds along the banks of the river.

Sangodd is therefore a  festival celebrated all over Goa mainly by the fishing community to invoke the blessings of St Peter and to celebrate the spirit of Goa.

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