Introduction: The season- based festival ‘Shigmo’ or ‘Shishirotsava’ is a spring festival commemorated in Goa, India where the people belonging to Hindu Community, however in minority, rejoice the warmth and bliss of this festive eve.
Etymology: The word ‘Shigmo’ is originated from the Prakrit word ‘Suggimaho’ and the Sanskrit word ‘Sugrishmaka’.
Shigmo of Modern days: The recent trend of celebrating this eve is resorted by the state government that helps to arrange colorful and pompous procession displaying street dancers and traditional folk in incredible form. This festival lasts till fortnight in the month of March fascinating celebrants of varied areas of the province where different yet splendid way is hired for marking the celebration.
Two kinds: Out of two variants of Shigmo, one namely ‘Dhakto Shigmo’ enthralls the spirit of farmers, the labour class and the rural ones while the other called ‘Vhadlo Shigmo’ amuses the soul of every celebrant together with the entire natives.
Occurrence: Dhakto Shigmo is celebrated five days prior to the full-moon day of the lunar month ‘Phalgun’ as per Indian calendar and winds-up on the full-moon day in old regions ruled by Portuguese while Vhaldo Shigmo celebration begins on the full-moon day of the similar month that is continuously practiced for five days.
Folk Songs, dance-forms and temple festival:
The choir called Naman is sung by the chorus (of villagers). Jot, another traditional song, is also sung. Dances, known as Talgadi, Hanpet, Lamp dance and Gopha , are performed that steal the heart of spectators. Carrying Dhol and Taso (musical instruments), dancers visit door to door while tapping their feet on the beats of the instruments. People donate money in the plates carried by the entertainers while reciting the song ‘Tali’. The last day of the festival marks the significance since a supernatural power called the ‘Gade padap’ makes its abode for a short while in the body of the dancers. There is also a tradition of taking collective bath which is regarded as ‘Mand Davarap’ marking the end of the festive occasion.
Rituals: ‘Dhako Shigmo’ is better to be pronounced as the festival of folk dance and folk songs. ‘Vhadlo Shigmo’ is celebrated in the pious Hindu shrines. Both festivals fall on different dates but share the same period. Deity, on the very first day, is attired in beautiful saffron robes after making them bath. Afterwards, a grand feast is arranged. A massive number of pilgrims throngs the temples of Jambavali, Phatarpya, Kansarpal and Dhargale located in Goa.