Bonderam Festival: A Unique Festivity Born Out of a Dispute

Every year on the fourth Saturday of August, Goa celebrates the Bonderam Festival. The state with a history of Portuguese invasion, is one of the smallest states in India. Despite being tiny, it has the greatest number of activities in terms of festivals, traditions and celebrations, all year round. One such occasion is the Bonderam Festival. Derived from the Portuguese word “Bandeira”, the word translates to ‘flags’.

The festival takes place on Divar Island, located about 12 kms from Panaji and originates from the rivalry between old tribes of the area. One of the most interesting and unique festivals of Goa, Bonderam revolves around the involvement of flags and has a quaint history attached to it.

A Brief History

During the Portuguese rule, the residents had frequent disputes over property and their claims. The Portuguese then decided to solve this by introducing the system of flags to demarcate areas. This would result in agitated villagers knocking down all the flags. The festival is celebrated in remembrance of these disputes. They use a toy bamboo weapon called Fotash and berries and peppercorns to pull down the opposition’s flags.

What to Expect?

The preparations for the festival begin way before the actual date. On the day of the event, people engage in activities at the first ray of light. The main festivity starts around noon with a flag parade. A fancy-dress parade and a traditional float parade follow, wherein each ward in the village has their own float. This is sort of a competition as to who has the better float.

The vibe of the festival is very similar to a carnival. Live bands with the parade, festivities along the streets and music everywhere gives a different vibe to the place. The celebration is vibrant, and fun filed. There is a huge crowd but doesn’t get unruly.

How to Get There?

The island is only accessible by ferry which starts from Old Goa. If you’re heading to Divar from North Goa, you can catch a bus to the main bus stop in Panjim and hire a cab further on. Since the festival always takes place during monsoon, it is advisable to carry umbrellas and a pair of additional clothing with you.

Dine and Wine

One of the local drinks you can try is Urrak at Mayur bar. It is a drink made from cashew fruit and is mildly alcoholic. Apart from this, there is the Julio Bar, Rock Inn and Sea View in the Malar area. You can also get back to Old Goa to grab a bite.

Ready for Independence Day weekend tour? This is a good time to plan your ever-pending Goa trip and enjoy the local customs and traditions along with the famous beaches of the place.

The LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort Goa is offering a splendid Independence Day holiday package. The Independence Week Experience offers you exclusive discounts for a week of entertainment and family vacation. The package includes the following:

  • Accommodation for twosome with two children below the age of 12
  • Shared airport and railway transfers in ac coach
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • 15% off on laundry, food and soft beverages
  • Karaoke nights, face painting for kids, kite flying and fun games
  • Spa credit of INR 500 on therapy per person
  • Brunch on 15th at Sea BQ
  • Late checkout until 14:00 hours

The LaLit Golf & Spa resort Goa is one of the best 5-star resorts in Goa. It gives you an ultra-luxurious experience for a super chilled and relaxing vacation. Make the most of their Independence Week Offer and spend some time with family and friends away from the hustle bustle of daily work life.