Goa carnival 2010 to begin without Brazilian Samba float

This year’s Goa carnival will be celebrated sans the Brazilian Samba float after a string of controversies it attracted over the years, a top official tourism department said.

"We do not have the float from Brazil this year, but our traditional Goan floats will be much better than the floats from Brazil," Goa Tourism Development Corporation managing director Nikhil Dessai told reporters Wednesday.         

The much celebrated four-day carnival will begin Feb 13 in Panaji.         

The Brazilian float had attracted severe criticism last year for alleged improper and provocative depiction of Hindu gods. Some years ago, the Brazilian float was in news for hoisting the Indian flag, with its colours upside down.         

Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa’s Portuguese legacy and are held every year before the season of Lent. The festival, which involves a public celebration in the form of long continuous parades of gaily coloured floats, with masquerading dancers, is led by the float of King Momo or king of the carnival.        

The five categories of floats that will be allowed this year are traditional, institutional, fun and junk, family and clown and jokers along with the sponsored category, Dessai said.         

He said the Goa carnival attracts thousands of tourists to the state each year and generates a windfall for the state tourism industry.         

"Each year, there is an amazing amount of interest during the carnival. The festival has become Goa’s USP," Dessai said, adding that special care has been taken to screen the floats for vulgarity this year.         

–Indo-Asian News Service

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