The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary begins every third Wednesday in November. This devotion of Our Lady comprises an extensive celebration which begins with traditional processions and novenas.
Each year the family selected to celebrate the feast paints the church on the outside fifteen days before the feast. The inside of the church is also beautifully decorated and the outside is covered with fairy lights. Most of the houses and streets in the village are lit up with colourful lights during the celebrations.
Every four years the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary is brought down from the altar and a procession takes the statue to Holy Rosary School where Mass is held in the playground. During this one day consecration of Our Lady, children from the school act out scenes from the Bible.
On the third Wednesday at 3am, a candlelight procession carries a beautifully decorated statue of Our Lady towards the church. Every day for the following nine days, the Novena prayers begin between 5pm and 8pm. On the tenth day Masses begin at 5am and the celebration of the feast continues for the next three days.
In the evenings, a fireworks display is sponsored by the family chosen to celebrate the feast that year. Throughout the day and night, there are Konkani concerts. In addition, dances are held in the evenings. The Navelim villagers invite families and friends for a celebration at their homes and they usually visit each other’s homes carrying trays of traditional Goan sweets.
Fair: According to legend, earlier, this fair consisted mainly of three or four sheds and lasted only for a day, because there was superstition that on the same night of the feast day, there was a gathering of devils in the area in the front of the church.
Dr Francisco Salvador Gomes, father of Dr Francisco Luis Gomes, who was the administrator of Salcete, encouraged some of the owners of the shed to extend the fair for three days.
This was done, and the fair gained in prominence so that today it is the most popular fair in Goa.
Today, the fair comprises stalls selling toys, food and clothes. There are booths for games as well as a fun fair with merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels. In addition, there are furniture stalls as well as other stalls.