Goa is always buzzing with creative energy. However if there's one time of year to truly experience Goa's artistic vibes at their best, it's December.
Thanks to such heavy hitters as the annual Goa Arts & Literature Festival & the Serendipity Arts Festival, one of the largest multi-disciplinary arts initiatives in the South Asian region captured in the video below, the month of December has in many ways become the unofficial ambassador for the arts in Goa.
As a result and knowing the crowds will already be in town, countless other small & large events have begun to pop up throughout the state as local galleries and artist groups time their own exhibitions & events accordingly. Thus making it one of the most exciting & inspiring times to visit. However with that comes the often overwhelming task of planning out your social calendar. Deciding which events to attend and which to forgo as so many are happening all at the same time.
But fear not, as no matter how many events or showings you attend, we guarantee your time here in Goa will not disappoint. December's sun, sand & stimulating art will be sure to leave you feeling more intellectually & emotionally invigorated than ever before.
So what are you waiting for!? Book that trip & come see for yourself what the month of December in Goa has in store!
Art festivals to attend in Goa this December
Goa Arts & Literature Festival
Annual literary event held at the International Centre Goa, Panaji
Inaugurated in 2010, "GALF has become a magnet for some of the most acclaimed writers and poets from across India and the rest of the world world."
As Goa's largest literary event, GALF celebrates the work & achievements of "writers and artists from Goa, from India’s North-East and Kashmir, as well as from countries like Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The festival has also devoted substantial attention to themes such as Dalit writing, poetry, graphic novels, and translations."
Dates: December 5th - 7th
3 day international photography festival held in the village of Aldona, Goa
This bi-annual event is designed "to produce location-specific installations connecting photographic displays and their architectural contexts." In its third edition, this year's GoaPhoto takes you away from the gallery yet again and on a journey through the homes & private spaces of Aldona.
Dates: December 6th - 8th
Goa Affordable Art Festival
An initiative of MOG - Museum of Goa, the annual GAAF aims "to provide quality art at affordable prices with the objective to enthuse the general public to appreciate, connect and collect art." Now in its third year, visitors will have the opportunity to view & purchase works from an impressive line up of young emerging & established artists. The inauguration will be held on the eve of December 14th but the exhibition itself will be on view for a whole two months for anyone who might not make it in December.
Dates: December 14th - February 14th
8 days of multidisciplinary events & exhibitions held across Goa's capital city
Since its inception in 2016, the Serendipity Arts Festival has been transforming the city of Panjim into a living, breathing art exhibition with gallery shows, performances, street fairs, & more popping up all over town. Take a sneak peek here at the last few editions of the annual #SerendipityArtsFestival celebrating the arts with over 90+ projects in Panaji, Goa and register for FREE now for the upcoming 2019 festival. Learn more here!
Dates: December 15th - 22nd
Other art related activities to do in Goa this December
As mentioned, in addition to the above events, there are countless other artsy occasions happening all across Goa in the month of December.
We suggest you take a look at our Create your own art crawl post to find a full list of art galleries, museums and other creative spaces that might suit your fancy.
Many of these third spaces (the art cafes & hostels, etc) also encourage residencies or collaborations with visiting artists. So don't be shy to reach out in advance to see what's possible during your stay.
A visit to Sunaparanta when in Panjim is of course a must. Take in the latest exhibition followed up by a coffee or cold drink at Bodega, the onsite courtyard cafe. Paperworks in Panjim across from the Campal grounds is also a gem for anyone interested in handmade paper & stationaries.
We can also suggest a stop at The Goa Collective Bazaar on a Friday night at HillTop in Vagator. This weekly market houses a range of vendors and is a more artsy, artisanal & far less crowded version of the classic Satruday Night Market.
Take a moment to check in with the Urban Sketchers of Goa group to see if they might be organizing any sketch walks while you're in town. A great way to connect with other local & visiting artists.
In December the conditions are perfect, just rent a scooter and drive around in search of Goa's hidden street art. You're sure to find it & other treasures in all the most peculiar of places. The roads of Panjim and villages of Saligao, Anjuna, Ashwem & Arambol are safe bets to explore.
But wherever you end up, just don't forget to tag us @goa in your photos so we too can follow along in all the fun!
All imagery & info is sourced directly via the respective event or organization's website, Facebook and/or Instagram page.