The much-awaited three-day Goa annual carnival kicked off with a colourful parade of tableaux on Saturday.
The colours of the carnival enchanted the onlookers as the pageants passed through the town's main thoroughfares.
The participants tried to give an ethnic hue to the event even as they said commercialization was gradually eroding the state's rich cultural inheritance.
"The Goa carnival is becoming very commercial day-by-day. Therefore, I have chosen traditional topic of the yesteryears," said Raul Fernandes, a tableau presenter.
Panaji's populace indulged in revelry along with tourists from all over the world.
"Its wonderful, nice and big. I am very excited to be present here," said Henrique, a tourist from Denmark.
The carnival marks merriment and precedes 40 days of Lent before Easter when Goa abstains from any kind of merriment.
The event is one of the major attractions for overseas and domestic tourists visiting the world famous tourist spot.
The Goa Carnival is an integral part of the Portuguese heritage of the state, which was a dominion of Portugal till 1961.
The carnival epitomizes the fun-loving culture that is characteristic of Goa. It was introduced by the erstwhile rulers as a rowdy celebration in which flour, eggs, oranges, lemons, mud, sand-filled gloves along with dirty water, various liquids and glue were aimed at passersby. Used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils were also thrown out of windows. Perhaps this was done to discard the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast.
Fierce battles were waged in the streets, with plaster-of-Paris eggs, wax lemons, corncobs and beans.
The carnival still retains the core of the original. A King of Chaos is elected, called King "Momo". He presides over the three-day festivities, which attract visitors from all over India and abroad.