The feast of St. Francis Xavier Location: Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
The feast of St. Francis Xavier Highlights: Small fairs and carnival like atmosphere all over, marks the death anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier
Time of Celebration of The feast of St. Francis Xavier : December 3rd
The feast of St. Francis Xavier is one of the most important festivals in Goa. Though essentially a Christian festival, all Goans irrespective of their caste and religious faiths come to the Basilica of Bom Jesus located in Old Goa to participate in the feast. St. Francis Xavier was revered saint who came to Goa along with the Portuguese in order to spread Christianity. His mortal remains are still preserved in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa.
The Saint Francis Feast is celebrated every year on December 3rd to mark the death anniversary of the saint. He was affectionately called Goincho Saib or the Lord of Goa. He died while going on a voyage to China. It is said that when his body was brought to Goa after an year to be buried, it was found that the body was as fresh as ever. This was deemed to be a miracle and his body was preserved in a glass coffin inside a beautiful silver casket. Thousands of devotees come from all over the world during the feast to pay respect to the saint.
During the Feast of St. Xavier, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is decorated beautifully and entire Goa comes alive with celebrations and merrymaking. Since this occasion is an important one, people from all over the world come here to participate in the proceedings. The mass prayers begin as early as 4 am and people come from all over to take part in it. The feast usually is celebrated for around 9 days.