Parishioners of Our Lady of Socorro Church, Carmona celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Assumption as a Community Day on August 15 – also the Indian Independence Day. NT BUZZ finds out more
SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
Many churches in Goa celebrate Community Day on the feast of Our Lady of Assumption on August 15 with a special mass. For Our Lady of Socorro Church, Carmona this day is indeed special. With the preparations beginning way before the event, Community Day is celebrated with great fervour by Carmonkars.
Also known as ‘Ekvottacho Dis’, the day is celebrated to uphold the unity among hte people of the village. Assistant Parish Priest of Our Lady of Socorro Church, Carmona, Fr Rosario Oliveira says: “On this day we focus more on unity, fostering brotherhood among the villagers. This day is a means to destroy enmity among villagers.”
Every year the Community Day is celebrated with a theme. Last year the theme was revival of old Goan professions. This year the festival has found its theme in ‘Flowers’. Flowers refer to joy, togetherness and happiness. The whole village is divided into groups using seven colours. And each of these groups put up stalls in the church grounds. With flowers that correspond with the allotted colour of their group such as sunflower, rose, shoe flower, carnations, marigold, lilly etc, the revellers have to decorate their stalls in accordance. They will also have to dress accordingly for a march to indicate the importance of flowers, a symbol of joy, happiness.
This day begins with the mass and ends with a cultural programme and fellowship. Mass timings are 6.30 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9.15 a.m. The Parish Pastoral Council Moderator and in-charge of Community Day celebration, Felicia Gracias says: “The March is not a competition but each group has to enter the church ground in the order given to them.”
The main event begins at 2 p.m. with the traditional march of the seven colours (groups) followed by fellowship. People visit various stalls where they meet one another and share traditional sweets such as patollio, shirollio, coconut halwa, sannas, dodol, dos, holle, pinagre, and many others. Other programmes that take place include traditional games such as tug-of-war, langddi, and tie-breaker. There are traditional and group dances.
“Each colour has to present a dance on the recorded song,” says Felicia.
Parish Priest of Our Lady of Socorro Church, Carmona, Fr Saude Pereira says that for the Catholics and devotees of Our Lady of Assumption, August 15 is a huge event. “Independence of India and feast of Our Lady of Assumption occurs on the same day. We refer to this day as Community Day, that teaches us to live in unity with peace and joy and this goes to every Indian citizen as well who celebrates Independence Day. Rather than quarrelling with each other for minor issues, we must understand the strength of our unity,” he opines.
Carmona Church encourages the people to keep the environment clean and host their Community Day in an eco-friendly manner. Interestingly black tea served in coconut shells, and not plastic cups to keep the use of plastic to the bare minimum.
The preparations for this year’s community day began two months in advance. “This is the seventh year that we are celebrating ‘Ekvottacho Dis’ with the motive of bringing unity in the village. People from different parts of Goa join us for this celebration and they appreciate the efforts of villagers of Carmona” says Felicia.
(Our Lady of Socorro Church, Carmona and villagers of Carmona will celebrate Community Day on August 15 in the Church premises. Mass timings are 6.30 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9.15 a.m. March and cultural programmes will begin from 2 p.m. onwards.)