One of the most enthralling festivals of Goa which is celebrated with the same affection, love and excitement by both Christians and Hindus in Goa is the Novidade festival. Marking the beginning of the harvesting season, during the Novidade festival, the farmers of both the religions serve their first lot of the rice crop to the church before moving ahead with the second slot of harvesting the crop. The parish priest is believed to be the disciple of God during the festival, and he plays the crucial role by harvesting the first bunch of rice all by himself. The parish priest then moves with offering the sheaf in the church before the altar of the God.
The Novidade festival is celebrated with all enthusiasm and integrity in the month of August and September and as per the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated in the month of ‘Bhadra Pada’.
The Novidade festivals hold utmost importance in the life of people of Goa as most of them belong to the category of farmers who survive on crop harvesting. The ritual under which the parish priest offers the harvested sheaf before the God holds the auspicious belief of the farmers from both the religions as they wait for the Novidade ceremony traditionally held in the city in order to move ahead with harvesting routine at their fields.
The festival brings in a rage of excitement and festivity in the city and people gather on roads to pay off for their belief in God. A more of a thankful celebration for bringing in the good harvest, Novidade festival is celebrated with full pomp and show. Under the tradition, the Priest of the church is taken up from fields to the church after crop harvesting with great show and road displays.
As a part of the festivities, people sing melodious songs and hymns in the chorus and at the end of the festival, there is a sparkling fireworks show put up by the people of Goa. The tribal community women of Goa perform their folk dance ‘Bhandup’ on the occasion of Novidade festival.