Witness the Feast of the Three Kings in January
The Guiding Star led the Three Kings or the Wise Men to discover the birth of Jesus. They ‘revealed’ the birth to the world and brought the infant gifts. Celebrated across the world in a number of varying names, the feast of the Three Kings is essentially commemorated on January 6 every year. Though the date may change in a few countries.
The year in Goa starts with this grand celebratory feast in two villages of South Goa and one in the northern part of the state. Continuing the celebrations from December’s Christmas, Epiphany (as it is called world over) is an important part of the Goan Christians as well as the non-Christians.
The preparations start about a year in advance with the selection of the three kings. The kings are usually chosen from among the boys of Quelim, Cansaulim and Arrosim villages. The age of these young boys are between eight to twelve.
Excited about the annual Feast, these boys start grooming and preparing to increase their chance of selection for the festivities. For most, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
On the day of the feast, the chose kings are approach the church on horseback and dressed in kingly robes. They bear gifts for the young Jesus, enacting the actual chapter from history. Their gifts represent the original gold, frankincense (aromatic resin) and myrrh (resin) gifts the Wise Men bore for Jesus.
The feast is held in three distinct parts of Goa. Close to the capital city, the Three Kings Church or the Reis Magos Church is a prime location. The Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios in Cansaulim is the other significant holy place and lastly, the Chandor Parish Church or Our Lady of Bethlehem in Chandor is where the crowd gathers to witness the festivities.
As a part of the celebrations, a number of small stalls or shops sell a variety of local things. These include sweetmeats, toys and trinkets, spices and brassware.