Candolim Sangodd along Sinquerim River
Honouring Saints Peter and Paul
A large crowd of people gathers in Orda, on the northern bank of the Sinquerim river, which meanders languidly south of Candolim, to celebrate the annual Sangodd, which marks the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29.
A substantial percentage of the riverine population still relies on the sea and river’s bounty, with fish giving employment and sustenance. St Peter, who was a fisherman like them when Jesus chose him to be an apostle, has been their patron saint, whom they honour and pray to in both good and bad times.
On June 29, they set their nets aside, anchor their fishing boats, and participate in celebrating their patron’s feast. As the evening progresses, men, women, and children flock in droves from both sides of the road to the little chapel by the river. On this particular occasion, they overlook the inconvenience of the monsoon showers for a change.
After a few prayers and some popular brass music, the curious crowd proceeds hurriedly behind the chapel to occupy vantage positions at the tiny jetty against which floats a well-decorated aquatic platform rigged up by tying three boats — the Sangodd.
Against the backdrop of a makeshift chapel, with patron Peter’s image placed in the niche, the brass band provides music to popular Konkani songs belted out by locals and professional stage artistes, interspersed by comic skits.
After a short sequence of songs, the Sangodd glides gently down the Sinquerim river, with the crowds following it. At every one of the half-a-dozen similar stops, more people join and swell the audience.
The lively Sangodd celebration culminates at the chapel of St Peter, located farther down the river, and the crowd hurries home by every possible pathway, returning to Orda with unwavering zeal and excitement a year later.
Sangodd literally translates as “two wooden planks linked together securely to make a floating raft.” For the modern festivity at Candolim, the Sangodd provides a platform conducive to staging a performance. Similar floating tableaux are organized at Ribandar. And also at Marcel and Banastarim during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, when the Ganesh images are taken for immersion.
Photos by Lynn Barreto Miranda / lynn.barretomiranda.com
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