Info Hostels photo 518 © Max M. Erraouhi

Goa Parties! December 2008

Goa Christmas and New year.

A blissful haze of dancing feet on sand, lapping waves, a milky moon and a pounding beat, Goa at Christmas and New Year provides an escape from the frenzy of shopping and the chill of a European winter.

Once a Portuguese colony, the small state of Goa is known by many to be the birthplace of "Goa" trance and a hot party destination. Several factors contribute to this area's popularity, not least the fact that it doesn't rain between October and March, there's 105km of beautiful beaches and it's very cheap.

Back in the late 1950s to mid 1960s Goa was happened upon by a group of hippies on the traveller trail who, recognising the area's special vibe and party potential, started a small psychedelic scene. They began to converge regularly during the dry season and, aided by the availability of tax-free alcohol, parties sprang up around the full moon.

These events remained small scale until a new subculture of young travellers began to arrive. With cash to burn and access to powerful sound systems, the parties turned into raves and the music took on a life of its own. The sound spread to those who weren't born out of the traveller scene but were firmly entrenched in western club culture. The music became harder and darker and ultimately more commercial. At the end of the 1990s DJ Paul Oakenfold, a key proponent of Goa trance, played his Full Moon Party Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 to armchair ravers all across the UK.

Today the party scene in Goa has been curtailed by government officials, environmentalists and the local media who have joined forces over the last few years to put a stop to the general free-for-all. Now it's only during Christmas and New Year that you can be guaranteed an organised party on a scale to match Ibiza or Thailand. Throughout the rest of the year, while the scene is by no means dead and buried, parties are few and far between.

If you want to be part of it, you have to have your ear to the ground. Hang out in Anjuna, a focal point for travellers, and while you're stocking up on hippy nick-nacks at the flea market, get the low down on the place to be.

City: Goa
Country: India
By: Max M. Erraouhi
Published on 06-Nov-2008
Section City Live
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