Christmas is one of the most celebrated festivals in Goa. Right from the vibrantly decorated Christmas trees that bring up the festive mood to the pleasant carols sung by groups, the whole state is filled with joy. This is the best time to visit the beautiful churches in Goa. Apart from the eye-catching Portuguese architecture that they are usually famous for, each Parish makes their own cribs and organizes special Christmas prayers and parties.
Here’s a list of few Goan churches whose Christmas celebrations are worth your visit.
Churches of Old Goa
Old Goa is the home to a majority of renowned churches in Goa. With Bom Basilica topping the list, some other famous churches here include St.Cajetan Church, Church of St.Francis of Assisi and Se Cathedral (one of the largest Churches in Asia). Their morning masses and the picturesque interiors is something you ought to experience atleast once.
Se Cathedral Church
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Three Kings Church, Cansaulim
Three kings church is a small chapel located atop a hill of Cuelim and affiliated to its neighbour, St. Thomas Church. You can get a spectacular view from this church which gives away the expanse of ocean and paddy fields beside it. “Feast of the Epiphany” or “Three Kings’ Day” is celebrated every year with great fervour on Jan 6.
Credits: Savio Colaco
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim
The Panjim Immaculate Church houses the ancient bell that was removed from the Augustinian ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Grace. During Christmas the Church is lit up at nights and the whole lawn is covered with innovative cribs created by the Parish every year.
Credits: Navhind Times
Mae De Deus Church, Saligao
This Church is situated on the by-lanes of Saligao plateau in Bardez Taluka and was built in 1873. It has the finest Gothic style architecture like no other and is attractively illuminated at night during the festive season.
Our Lady of Help Church, Ribandar
You find a small Chapel at the road intersection of Ribandar after crossing the magnificent Patto bridge. The chapel is not great by its architecture or looks. But, its creative cribs that are made by the villagers every Christmas catches your eye more than anything when you pass by that area.
Credits: Ribandar Online
Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Navelim
The Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Navelim, also called Nossa Senhora do Rosaria in Portuguese, was built somewhere in the 1590s. This is the most populous parish in the Archdiocese of Goa. For Christmas, the inside of the church is beautifully decorated whereas the building is covered with fairy lights from the outside.
Credits: Travel Aspire
St Alex Church, Calangute
A massive Church of Calangute, the present structure is the third one erected in its name with the first two being demolished for various reasons. The yard of this church has a Grotto of Our lady of Lourdes which was the first of its kind in entire Goa. They celebrate not one but five different feasts every year to honour different saints of importance.
Church of St Lawrence, Agacaim
St Lawrence Church, popularly called as Agassaim Chapel, was dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and raised by the Jesuit missionaries to the north of the Zuari River in the year 1565. The people from the village come together to celebrate different festivities with Christmas being the most impressive one.
Mechanised Crib at Agacaim Church
Church of St.Thomas, Cansaulim
Founded in 1581 and rebuilt in 1632, this church is commonly known as the Cansaulim Church. With a fusion of Portuguese, Turkish and Italian architectural styles, it has found itself a place in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Even after Christmas, the festive spirit lingers on with the feasts of individual churches that follow. The first one to happen in 2017 will be Three Kings Feast on January 6.
You can get many more local tips on Churches and its Feasts on Lokaso App. Try it out now and you wont regret it.
Featured image Credits: Panoramio