Goa Tour Packages

Feast of Three Kings- Goa

Posted on: October 1, 2010


The Feast of Three Kings is celebrated equally by the Hindus as well as by the Christians. The festival is an ode to the Lady of Mount, who is considered to be the protector of people. She is said to be provider of children to married couples and is said to fulfill wishes made at her chapel. The processions of the festival continues for 9 days and ends on Epiphany, 6th January. According to a legend a boulder on a nearby hill is clearly stamped with two baby footprints and those of an adult, together with a trough carved out of the rock which, marks the spot where the Virgin rested with the Infant while the horse that brought them quenched its thirst, before proceeding to Hill of Remedies where she chose to remain. However, some historians state that the site now occupied by the Chapel of Remedios was once the site of a Hindu temple.

The twelve days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day and end on January 6, which is called the Day of Three Kings or Feast of Epiphany. Befana, an old woman is said to bring gifts to children, hoping that one of them is the child king that she refused to acknowledge years ago. As the legend goes, Befana lived near Bethlehem. One night while preparing her supper of beans and bread, she heard a knock at the door. Before her stood the three kings in search of the Christ child. They asked Befana if she knew where He could be found. “I know of no king,” she told them and quickly shut the door. As time passed, Befana kept thinking about the strange visitors and their quest to find the Christ child. So, with a sack filled with bread, she set out on her own in hopes of finding the child king. Every time she saw a baby boy, she broke off a crust of bread and gave it to the child, hoping that he might be the Child.

A curious feature of the festival on the Mount is that after midday, you will not find a single soul anywhere near by. The staggering and swelling crowds disappear as mysteriously as the huge giant fair, within a few hours, while the flags, buntings and other fanciful decorations are all removed. Since no priest consents to reside in the parochial house, the chapel is closed till the next annual feast. During the year should any devotee wants a mass of thanksgiving to be said at the shrine, he goes up with the priest. The reason for this fear of the Mount is the belief that the place is haunted by Shivaji and his army who after dusk make their appearance with flares that light up the whole countryside around, which echoes to their marching feet. A gruesome murder that took place on the site a few years back involving two lovers also adds a sinister background to Shivaji’s ghost!

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