It’s the most beautiful time of the year, where lights fill up the streets, children go carol singing, and the aromas of freshly baked goodies spread so much cheer. No need to say, that Christmas is just around the corner. But the best place to celebrate Christmas is in Goa. It’s no secret today, going to Goa in December during Christmas is on the bucket list of every traveler in India

Goa is a beautiful place gifted with some of the most beautiful beaches in India, a pleasant climate, lots of greenery and the most chilled out people in the country. With the Goa temperature in December hovering around 20˚C, Goa in December comes to life when most other parts of the country are freezing to death.

There are certain special gems in Goa that we think you should explore during December.

Here are our top picks for things to do in Goa in December.

1. Explore the Saturday Night Goa Market

The Saturday night market at Ingo’s.

Are you planning for a vacation to Goa in December? Well, visiting the Saturday night market in Goa is definitely a must do on your checklist. Through the busy sands of Arpora in North Goa, you just cannot miss Ingo’s Saturday Night Market that takes place almost every Saturday. The entire market begins from 7 pm and goes on till the wee early morning hours. The market has a varied collection of goods ranging from fancy jewellery to unique antique showpieces. Be sure not to miss the live music performances and the exotic fire dances who take to the stage post 10 pm. The market also has some lip-smackingly delicious food stalls. Even if you are not into shopping, this market can be a fun night out because of all the street-DJs, food, fire-eaters, poi jugglers and what not! A complete carnival!

2. Enjoy homemade chocolates during Christmas

What is Christmas without homemade goodies? Plum cakes are so popular and one of the Christmas specials in Goa! And it becomes even more delicious when you talk about the Christmas celebration in Goa. The homemade chocolate cakes are so delightful and lip-smacking. Colored Marzipan for Christmas is another popular dish. There are other mouthwatering Goan dishes that is a must-try for every food lover. Some of the popular dishes in Goa during Christmas are Bebinca, Neureos, Dodol, Bathica, and Korbola. These dishes can be tried at the popular bakeries in Panjim, Mapusa, Candolim, and Margao to be precise.

Christmas sweets in Goa

3. Attend a firework show

In December, Goa is entirely drenched in festivity and lights. You can watch the cracker show all around, the entire place turns into a dreamy show and is indeed a treat to the eyes! The Old Goa region having most of the churches in Goa experiences the burst of light and one can soak in the exotic festive vibes in the air. Anjuna, Colva, Bogmalo Beach offers myriad of colors and light as the entire beach area goes partying until dawn, with the crazy crowd and a colorful cracker show it’s one of the most significant things to behold during Christmas celebration during Goa.

4. Attend A Mass at Christmas

Being a Christian dominated area with historical churches and rich Christian tradition, to be in Goa during Christmas time is to be in some luck. The place is transformed into a dizzying state of festive fervor which engulfs everyone. Old Goa is wonderful in Decemeber as you get mesmerized by the giant and beautifully decorated churches, the countless number of stalls selling homemade chocolates and cakes and the infectious atmosphere of general happiness and merry-making. Some famous churches to visit during Christmas time in Goa include Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Church of St. Francis of Assisi, The Holy Spirit Church, The Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol. Celebrating Christmas is one of the highlights of holidaying in Goa in December.

5. Visit the Mesmerizing Serendipity Arts Festival

The Serendipity Arts Festival is held on the banks of the Mandovi river and other parts of Panjim. The art festival is held across multiple art disciplines like visual, performing and the culinary arts. The art festival is curated by a panel of jurors who themselves are veterans in their respective art forms. If you are in Goa during the later weeks of December, we advise you to not miss this festival. The festival begins on the 15th of December till the 22nd  of December 2018.

6. Take a cruise on the Mandovi

December is the best time to take up a river cruise or arrange a private boat party with your friends. As you take up a river cruise in Mandovi River you get to experience the magical Christmas evening like never before. An evening spent while cruising on the waters during Christmas celebration in Goa is indeed special. If you are with your beloved you can indeed plan a romantic candlelight dinner. Go ahead and book a slot for yourself.

7. Burn the Old Man

Burning of the Old Man – the effigies made of stuffed old clothes & hay is a popular Goan tradition in which the locals burn the effigy which marks bidding goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new year. The locals, as they burn the effigy, share the tales and enjoy a glass of Feni – the traditional Goan drink. Not exactly a Christmas celebration, but the tradition of burning the old man tradition on New Year’s Eve is an age-old practice kept alive by native Goans even today. As the name suggests, several effigies resembling old men, made of hay and old clothes, are set on fire to signify the destruction of the worries and ills of the previous year. Money is usually collected by children to save for next year’s celebrations.

8. Indulge in a sumptuous Christmas dinner

Photo Credits: Leander Nathan Dias

One can never complain about Goan food but during Christmas, it’s exceptional. The food is just heavenly. Treat yourself to a traditional Christmas dinner at a fancy restaurant or a shack on the beach and you won’t be disappointed. Indulge in mouthwatering delights like roast turkey, pork sorpotel and an assortment of grilled seafood on the menu. Remember to leave room for Goa’s favourite dessert, Bebinca or the seradura. Depending on where you choose to dine, a good meal can set you back anywhere between Rs. 500 at a small restaurant to Rs. 3000 at a fancy hotel!

Having a traditional Christmas Dinner in December is definitely a must do in Goa. Picture Credits: Nik Sharma

9. Watch Turtles Take Over the Beach

Olive Ridleys are a type of turtle most known for the heart-shaped carapace on their backs. These turtles grow up to 70 centimeters in length. During the month of December, these turtles make the beaches of Goa their nesting site and gather in the thousands to do so. The most famous nesting beach has to be the Galgibaga Beach in Canacona. Take part in this rare occurrence and gain an experience of a lifetime.

10. Go Crib Hopping Around Goa

There is no doubt that Goa is the best place in India to be during the Christmas week. The entire state comes together as one and celebrates the festival. Making a crib during the Christmas is definitely a must do. Many families decide to portray their crib making skills and keep it on display for all to see. The Department of Art and culture of Goa organizes a competition every year for families to come together and display their creativity. You can go crib hopping all around Goa each portraying their skills and talent. Some even build a life-sized crib portraying the birth of Jesus and the story that revolves around it.


Also Read: Now Travel Extra 22 Kms To Reach Panjim

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