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The traditional ‘sotreo’ festival of Cuncolim

NT BUZZ

During Shigmo festivities, Cuncolim celebrates the traditional ‘sotreo’ festival with great pomp and gaiety. Here, thousands of devotees gather at Cuncolim to seek blessings of Shree Shantadurga Kunkalikarin where the annual procession makes its way from Fatorpa Temple to the original site at Cuncolim.

Cuncolim was the original site where the temple of Shree Shantadurga was located. After being demolished by the Portuguese, the idol was shifted to Fatorpa where the new temple of Shree Shantadurga Kunkalikarin stands today.

The colourful procession carrying the palki of Shree Kunkalinkarin is taken through the same old route by which the deity was brought to Fatorpa centuries ago. The deity is taken back to the original site at Cuncolim, which is a re-enactment of what happened when the Hindus fled to save their faith. Thus, the Sontreo (procession of umbrellas) is held on Panchami day in the month of Phalguna.

The procession is led by twelve colourful umbrellas atop tall poles of metal or carved wood. Here, each of the twelve umbrellas are different and stand for one of the twelve vangodds (clans) of the Cuncolim area. The procession passes through the wards of Molanguinim, Biunsa, Voddy, Tolliebhatt, Markutt and Demani and from Molangini to Fatorpa.

The umbrellas are carried by youngsters from the village who dance through the procession, while carrying the umbrellas. Similar to Gulalutsav, here, all males participating in this festival are smeared with colour, while also throwing colour in the air as the procession with the palanquin moves forward.

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