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Feast of Three Kings, Goa

(Last Updated 05 Aug, 2021)

  • Dates :

    06/01/2022 - 06/01/2022

  • Location :

    Bardez, Candor and Cansaulim, Goa


The Feast of Three Kings in Goa is celebrated as an ode to the ‘Our Lady of The Mount’, a statue of Virgin Mary with infant Jesus in her hand, considered to be the protector of the people. On this day, the Lady of the Mount is adorned with jewelry and people from all over climb up to her to seek her blessings. The Festival of the Three Kings is celebrated after 12 days of Christmas to commemorate the visit of the three wise men to infant Jesus. The legend says that the boulder on the nearby hills still bears the footprints of Virgin Mary and the baby, where she supposedly rested before reaching the Hill of Remedies. Many state that the site of the Chapel of Remedios which stands there now was once a Hindu Temple site. Every year during this time, there are hundreds of Christian as well as Hindu devotees who make the annual pilgrimage to the Mount to offer prayers to Madonna, with candles, flowers and incense.

Significance of the Feast of Three Kings

The Lady of Mount is said to protect the people. People worship her as a fertility goddess and married couples who are unable to conceive a child pray at the chapel to fulfill their wishes.

The Lady of Mount is ornate with flower and gold jewelry, incense, candles, and garlands. Thousands of people assemble at the stone chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Reis to give appreciation to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception – a lighthouse of faith and courage to its people. On the last day of the festival, Epiphany (oldest Christian feasts celebrated since the end of the second century before the Christmas holiday was founded), a mass is held at the venue that includes fun activities.

Story of the Three Kings - The Gift of Magi

Three Kings are also called Magi. This word ‘Magi’ is taken from Greek word ‘Magos’, which itself is derived from the word ‘Magupati’. It simply means a high priest of ancient Persian religions. Therefore, Magi were rich, wise, and powerful men in their kingdoms who had great knowledge in the fields of science and astrology.

Coming to the story, it began after the birth of Christ, when Magis knew a great king in Judea was born. Therefore, they undertook a long journey, bearing gifts fit for a babe of such high birth.
The Three Kings were Caspar or Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar

Caspar: He was said to have been from the Indian subcontinent. He had long brown hair and a beard and wore green robes. He brought with him the gift of Frankincense, which celebrated the god-like side of the Christ child.

Melchior: He was from Arabia and was older. He had white hair and a beard and wore a gold cloak. He brought the gift of Gold, which meant the king-like aspect of the Christ child.
Balthazar: A king from Africa, who had black hair and a beard and wore a purple cloak. He brought the gift of Myrrh, a spice used in the burial practices in old times. It signified the suffering and death of the Christ child.

Magi made a stop at the court of Herod to get information on the new born child. Herod, fearing that this new king would replace him and take his throne, begged the Magi to tell him also of the child’s whereabouts once they had found him. After finding the child, an angel came in Magi dreams and told him about the evil intention of Herod and therefore, they returned to their kingdom by another route.

Feast of Three Kings Traditions

Exchanging gifts

On 5th January, the Three Kings are decorated and children leave their footwear out of the house and seek gifts from the wise men inside of the shoes.

Rosca de Reyes

The star of this feast is the King’s cake, Rosca de Reyes. The shape of the cake is a circle with candied fruit and nuts on the top to represent the jewels of Magi’s crown. A tiny Jesus is also hidden inside the cake. And whoever receives the cake with the Jesus doll has to host the Candlemas celebration in February.

Al Fresco Feast

Feast of Three Kings is also called Al Fresco Feast in Latin America. On this day, families enjoy big meals. The traditional meal includes dishes like black beans (or peas, corn) and rice, soups, salads including yucca, plantains, and nopales. Slow-cooked meat is also made with sautéed onions, garlic, and herbs.


Activities on Feast of Three Kings day

Make the traditional King cake, ‘Rosca de Reyes’. It is a sweet cake with cinnamon and sugary sauce, fruit and nut filling.

Read the gospel the festival is based on. Epiphany or the Twelfth Night marks the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. Epiphany also means manifestation and celebrates the disclosure of Goa in human form as Jesus Christ. So, start the Mathhew at 2:11 and see the magic happen.

How is Feast of Three Kings Celebrated?

The Feast of Three Kings Festival continues for 10 days. During this time, there is continuous dance, music, and partying that keeps the spirit of Goa high. During the nine days of continuous revelry, the devotees come to the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount to offer prayers and seek her blessings.


The last day of the festival is celebrated in a unique fashion when three small boys aged between 8 and 10 are dressed up as the three Kings who brought gifts for infant Jesus. These boys, chosen from the local villages, dress themselves up and make preparations for the grand event when they become the king for a day.


The boys arrive at the chapel to offer wealth to the lady of the Mount and each of them takes a different path and is accompanied by a jovial crowd. After the end of the rituals, there is a grand fete and fairly organized where one can buy a wide variety of things, such as copper, brassware, furniture, clothes, toys, trinkets, bangles, and spices.

When is Feast of Three Kings Celebrations in 2022?

The celebrations of the Feast of Three Kings takes place at three locations in Goa: Reis Magos Church at Verem in the Bardez taluka in North Goa, the village of Chandor in South Goa, and at Our Lady of the Mount in Cansaulim in South Goa.


Crowning followed by grand processions to honor the 'three kings' takes place at these three villages in Goa. Later, they are escorted with great zeal and fervor to the church on Remedios Hill.

Where is Feast of Three Kings Celebrated?

The celebrations of the Feast of Three Kings takes place at three locations in Goa: Reis Magos Church at Verem in the Bardez taluka in North Goa, the village of Chandor in South Goa, and at Our Lady of the Mount in Cansaulim in South Goa. Crowning followed by grand processions to honor the 'three kings' takes place at these three villages in Goa. Later they are escorted with great zeal and fervor to the church on Remedios Hill.







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