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Goa Liberation Day

Goa Liberation Day is celebrated every year on December 19th in the state of Goa as the day when the Indian armed forces fought against the Portuguese rulers and freed the state from pro-longed possession in 1961. The day holds a significant value among the people of Goa.

Goa is one of the smallest states of India, spread around 250 miles south of Mumbai and was once ruled by the Portuguese for about 450 years. The day accomplished the independence of India as, during that time, it was the only part ruled by the Portuguese. The people with a variety of events & activities acknowledge Goa Liberation Day. This year, the 19th of December will mark the state’s 61 years of independence.

When is Goa Liberation Day?

Goa Liberation Day is observed as a provincewide regional public holiday. Every year, people celebrate the day on 19th December with pride & enthusiasm to commemorate Goa’s liberation from Portuguese dominance. Know the details of the history & importance of the day.

Goa Liberation Day commemorates the day of attaining freedom of the state from the dominance of the Portuguese.

Enclosed by the states of Karnataka & Maharashtra, the state of Goa has Panaji as its capital. After getting freed from Portuguese dominance, it became a part of India and was officially given statehood by the government in 1987.

On August 15, 1947, when India procured freedom, Goa was still being ruled by the Portuguese for around 450 years. It was when the Portuguese started colonising parts of India and showed their rigid hold over Goa and other Indian territories, even when India became free from the Britishers.

Following countless failed negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the rulers, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called for military intervention and sent Indian armed forces to attack under “Operation Vijay”, meaning “Victory”. Within 36 to 40 hours, the Portuguese surrendered, and the coastal state gained its liberation on December 19, 1961. The whole operation was administered by Major General K P Candeth, who was later selected as the military Governor of Goa. This is how Goa Liberation Day 2022 came into existence.

Importance of Goa Liberation Day

The day has a significant role in the history of India as many aren’t even aware that Goa was under the possession of the Portuguese for about 450 years. The celebration of Goa Liberation Day marks the victorious fight of the Indian armed forces against the rulers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Although the day has a national significance throughout the country, it has a special place among Goans. Once India attained freedom, the call for getting the state of Goa free from Portuguese rule increased. On this day, people of the state come together and participate in many cultural activities. The day also signifies the power of the Indian military in getting the state free from a long-time dominance. It also commemorates the fearless leadership of Major General K P Candeth in Operation Vijay in Goa.

How Do People Celebrate Goa Liberation Day?

Goa Liberation Day is celebrated every year with utmost fun & pride by the people of Goa. The Governor and the Chief Minister greet people with Goa Liberation Day wishes and pay tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting for the state's independence.

Torchlight Procession

If you want to be a part of this celebration, consider attending the annual torchlight rallies/processions on this day in different locations, as well as various cultural events like Sugam Sangeet are held in the state to mark the day. The three parades gather in the Azad Maidan, and the members pay tribute to the martyrs. If you are in Goa, you must attend these rallies people organise with joy and enthusiasm.

Attend Sugam Sangeet

The Sugam Sangeet is among the significant cultural attractions in the state to mark Goa Liberation Day. You can enjoy classical vocal music by local artists in different rhythms or styles. It is simply the poetic expression you will love to attend as a part of liberation celebrations.

Witness the History of Goa

Goa has a rich & divergent history, dating back to prehistoric times. Prehistoric impressions at Usgalimal were found in the 1990s and observed by the Institute of Oceanography in Goa. After the ruling of several dynasties in Goa, Portuguese rule started in 1510.

Apart from this, the Indian Naval Ship Gomantak is recognised as a war memorial to pay honour to the sailors and other staff who lost their lives during Operation Vijay fighting for Goa's liberation. The officers of the Indian Navy pay tribute to these warriors on the day every year by laying wreaths at the war memorial. People burst firecrackers to show joy & happiness over the independence of their state.

Important Facts Related to Goa Liberation Day

  • The battle for Goa’s liberation, ie. Operation Vijay lasted about 36 hours, including all three wings of the Indian military

  • Goa was officially declared a state on 30 May 1987.

  • In the Operation, around 22 Indians and 30 Portuguese soldiers were killed

  • Goa’s impeccable infrastructure led the state to earn the title of the “Best Placed State” by the 11th Finance Commission.

  • Goa, Daman and Diu were a part of the Union Territory of India until it was given statehood title.

  • The Gomant Vibhushan Award is the most recognised civilian award of Goa by the Government of Goa.

  • The first recipient of the award was popular nuclear physicist Anil Kakodkar.

  • The Bom Jesus Basilica and various other buildings of Goa are listed in the “World Heritage Sites” by UNESCO.


Now you know that Goa is more than just beautiful beaches and night parties. The famous holiday destination is full of attractive greenery, old landmarks and crystal-clear oceans. Undoubtedly, Goa is the paradise of India and celebrating Goa Liberation Day means celebrating its interesting history.

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