The east and west blend in perfect unison and harmony in Goa. This is what makes the culture of Goa so unique. Modern day Goa is a quaint blend of tradition, religion and modernity. The legacy of Portuguese and Indian culture is evident from their art to food and music.
The Goans are fun-loving and hospitable and they are famous for their laid-back lifestyle and attitude. Siesta is a mandatory for them and they spend as much as they earn. The people of Goa have strong Goan identity and they identify themselves as Goans first and second based on their religious affiliation.
Though many of the locals converted to Christianity under the Portuguese rule yet many continued to cling to their Indian roots. Churches are as much a part of Goan culture as the Hindu temples and mosques and religious festivals are celebrated in equal fervour by all communities. Today, the Hindus comprise majority of the population. Diwali and Ganesh Chhaturti are the most important Hindu festivals but Christmas is celebrated in equal reverence by the Christians and other religious communities. Goa attracts many visitors for its lively New Year celebrations. It is also famous for its Indo-Latin festivals especially the famous Goa Carnival held in February. This 3-day non-stop carnival is a time of merry-marking, feasting and indulging awaited by locals and tourists alike.
Like its culture, Goan cuisine is a blend of the Konkan, Portuguese and the Bahamani Nawabi platter. Rice with fish curry is the staple diet. Goan food is hot and spicy and marked by the use of coconut and coconut oil. Vindalho or spicy pork is a delicacy and the local drink ‘feni’ is their favourite indulgence. Seafoods are a hot favourite especially mussels, oysters, crabs. Goan wine is said to be the best in India.
Goa is also famous for its nightlife. There are bar-cum-restaurants in almost every third house. In the evening, people come to the bars to relax. Partying is an every night affair in Goa. At night, the beaches come alive with people boozing or dancing which continue on till the wee hours of the morning.
Goans are extremely fond of music. Mando and dulpod are traditional Goan musical forms. Mando combines both Indian and western musical traditions and first evolved among the Catholics. Dulpod is a catchy Goan dance song with a quick rhythm. The dance steps are based on themes drawn from everyday life. Nevertheless, all genre of music from traditional to western can be heard in Goa, the latest craze being trance especially among the partying crowd.
Goa is infamous all over the world for its hippie culture characterised by drug use, trance music and free living. The hippie culture began from the mid 1960s when several Westerners including "Eight Finger Eddie" discovered Calangute thereafter creating a community for the Western tourists. Eddie is credited with popularizing Goa as a tourist destination globally.