three-kings-feast

The three king’s feast has many names as Festa dos Reis and The Holy Epiphany this exemplifies its importance. The Feast of Three Kings is celebrated equally by the Christians as well as Hindus and attracts a lot of tourists. The feast is offered to the Lady of the Mount who is considered as a protector of people more specifically she is the patron saint of performing miracles by allowing sterile mothers to bare children. Those who pray in her chapel are believed to receive sacred blessings and protection.

The three king’s feast is celebrated in the north and south of Goa. After staying almost whole a year in isolation, just nine days before the feast the Novena starts. The occasion is nine days long and ends with a high mass at 12pm at the top of the hill which revives and resounds to human voices and feet. During the nine days, both Christian and Hindus attend the chapel for guidance, blessings and prayer. Many processions also occur at this time and our lady of the mount is decorated with garlands, incense, candles and jewellery as a token of gratitude.

On the last day the 6th January, three boys for elite families re-enact the three kings coming to see Jesus, each bearing a gift. Each king is especially chosen as their descendants are from one of the following village’s Quelim, Cansaulim and Arrosim. These boys are given the honour for the day and their reign continues until the following year. The kings should be ideally between 8-12 years old. The kings are led by a boy beating a kettle drum and a band marching. Each king takes individual paths and climbs up the hill of Remedios on horseback and meet for the high mass. The boys are dressed is elaborate clothing, from decorative crowns and gowns fit for royalty. It is the most spectacular sight. After the rituals, an extensive fair springs up covering the entire hilltop. One can buy anything from a traditional Goan meal to copper and brassware, furniture, clothes, toys, trinkets, sweetmeats, glass bangles and spices of all sorts.