On August 15, every year, the village of Socorro is filled with happy cheer and the welcoming spirit. The parishioners of Our Lady of Succour Church gather at the Succoro Church Gardens from 11am onwards and bring together one of Goa’s biggest family festivals. The sixth edition of Pattoleanchem Fest by Socorro Socio-Arts and Cultural Association will be the host in collaboration with GTDC, combining seven mini festivals into one. These also include theFeast of the Assumption of Our Lady, Independence Day, Goenche Jevonn, World Goa Day, Konkani Day and Ghumtacho Nazz.
The day will begin with the school children celebrating Independence Day followed by the mass celebrating the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady with a procession and blessing. Primary and pre primary section students will present school items followed by the brass band. A ghumotttheme song will be released by the Socorro Socio-Arts and Cultural Association. The highlight of the day, piping hot pattoleos,will be distributed and there will also be a demonstration of the making of this delicious Goan traditional sweet.
On the occasion of Konkani Day, a book as a special tribute to late journalist Joel D’Souza will be released. There will be different stage performances by Catechism children, youth and Confirmation students, and various small Christian communities (somudai). Peter-Roshan and Wilmix and Sharon will also take the stage to sing their songs. Miguel Braganza of the Botanical Society of Goa will speak on the topic ‘Word to the Plants’ while noted cartoonist Alexyz and Konkani singer O’luv will demonstrate their skills.
World Goa Day will be celebrated on stage by the Catechists. The on stage performance will culminate into the sumptuous Goan lunch, which will include delicacies such assanna, pudde, pattoleos and vonn.
Fr Santana Carvalho, Parish priest of the Our Lady of Sucorro Church, has been a part of organising the festival since its inception. Over six years, he has seen the festival grow from strength to strength through the unity of the people. “This festival is a community celebration where villagers across Goa observe and learn how Goans can come together and celebrate a festival. Pattoleanchem Fest brings together various aspects of the Goan life on a single stage,” says Fr Santana.
Speaking about the small Christian communities in the village, Fr Santana adds, “There are 23 Somudai in the village, out of which 13 are very active. There are no sponsors involved and yet the villagers come together for the parish, just as they would spend one a day with the family; they are here for one day with the whole community. We will be showcasing how a traditional Ross takes place before the wedding and the songs that are sung while blessing the bride or groom with coconut milk. We will also be having a Good Samaritan Fund which is a nominal fee of Rs 50 only.” [H]