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Feasts, Markets & Mass: Here's A Guide To Enjoying Christmas In Goa

Come Christmas and the warm smell of cakes and nippy mornings are a given in Goa. You won't walk a few steps without finding chapels dressed to the nines and homes, bakeries and small stores playing Christmas carols. The hotels are busy mixing massive cakes and planning evening galas. Basically, the whole state wears a festive vibe and it's probably the best time to be here as a tourist.

So, if you do have a vacation planned around Christmas in Goa, here are all the markets to attend, midnight masses to head to, shops to hit up for tree baubles and gifts and just have a cheery good time at Goa's most popular hotels and restaurants as they plan those red-white-green themed parties with all the sangria and live music. Read on for a complete Christmas guide to Goa...

Christmas Parties, Lunches & Special Roasts

Christmas is a deeply private and family affair in Goa and usually means cooking feasts together to dancing and merry making. That said, we love ourselves a traditional lunch and personally vouch for the Christmas spread at 7 Short 1 Long in Moira complete with wine, seafood and rum cake. Another family-run gem, Fernando’s Nostalgia is also doing a special buffet lunch with roast meats, salads and vegetarian and non-vegetarian spreads between 12–4pm on Dec 25 (they’ll even have live music and a full carnival vibe).

If you dig a more touristy celebration, there’s everyone’s favourite Thalassa doing a Christmas eve on Dec 24 with special DJs and a tropical vibe complete with wine and festive cheer. Black Market, another award-winning restaurant in Panjim is hosting a Family Style roast chicken meal that’s only available on pre-order (you can get this for lunch or dinner). If you’d rather be by the sea, book a brunch or dinner at Olive Goa and enjoy some live music while you’re at it. Pre-Christmas celebrations are also planned at Alila Diwa on Dec 22 with INR 999 and INR 1,250 packages with music, games, food and drinks for families in Goa

Casual Dining

Black Market

Villa Braganza, Dr. Braganza Pereira Road, Panjim, Goa

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Christmas Trees, Baubles & Gifts

While every stationery shop and decor store near you will stock up on Christmas decorations, trees and paraphernalia. Our favourite places to hit up for a tree that we can nurture year after year are the nurseries and the ones that line the NH 66, close to Guirim are our favourites. Of course, there’s also Mr. Farmer to stop at.

If you’re after a tree that you can tuck away till the next year, you can check out the mini market outside Delfino’s in Porvorim for all things Xmas from trees in different sizes to baubles to stars, lights, table decorations, linen, stockings and other things. Other places we swear by include JD Fernandes in Panjim that’s decorated every year to look like the cosiest, warmest nook. While this has been loved as a stationery shop, locals will tell you that it’s also their go-to for Christmas buys. This apart, Raave, Walk Over (a great place to pick up presents especially for kids!) and Star Light, again all in Panjim offer stiff competition to Fernandes. If you’re in Porvorim, D Function Junction close to On The Go cafe also has a section for trees, santa caps and decorations.

If you’re a sucker for decor, The Linen Shoppe in Campal and Colva, both put out themed collections of beautiful wine aprons, table linen, cushion covers, bags, throws, rugs and more. Or, there’s The Small Wonder Goa with its cute Santa aprons and reindeer hairbands. If you're looking for basic stars, right near the Income tax office in Panjim sit a couple of street vendors. 

Mapusa market in general is the best place to head to if you're looking to browse and buy. Everything from plum cakes at old bakeries to Christmas stars and trees flood the market. 

Christmas Mass

Spending your Christmas in Goa and want to head to a Goan church for a Christmas Mass? We got you covered! If you are in Old Goa, then you need to head to Basilica of Bom Jesus along with Se Cathedral which happens to be one of the largest churches in Asia. For North Goan churches, our picks would be to definitely attend the Christmas mass at St. Alex Church, Church Of St. Francis of Assisi and Mae De Deus Church. Over to the southern part of Goa, it's St. Andrew's Church that we are recommending for a Christmas Mass. Of course, the Three Kings Chapel is also a must-visit during Christmas. 

Religious Establishments

Mae De Deus Church

Chogm Road, Muddavaddi, Saligao, Goa

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    Christmas Markets To Hit Up

    Come Christmas and Goa is abuzz with mini pop-ups and Christmas themed markets. This year, carols will be playing and cakes will be doing the rounds at the Goa Collective Bazaar on Dec 20. If you’re looking to hangout with the family, this market is loved for its live music, activities for kids, a wide variety of food (everything from khao suey to pizzas to coffee and cocktails). The Goan Farmers Market will host a Christmas Edition on Dec 21 in Margao (BPS Sports Club) where you can pick up fruit cakes, handmade gifts, homemade wines and Christmas special delicacies.

    Markets

    Goan Farmers Market

    Abade Faria Road, Pajifond, Margao, Goa

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