Pejechem Fest or Siridao Feast

Siridao is a small suburb surrounded by Curca and Bambolim villages separated by the River Zuari. This village is surrounded by coconut trees. People also visit this place to spend some time on the nearest beach, which is also the best Picnic Spot. Most of the Catholic community lives here are either Toddy Tappers and Fisherfolks.

View from the Hill top Chapel
View from the Hilltop Chapel

The village has the main church of Santa Maria Magdalena, which was built in 1603. which later collapsed in 1869. Two statues from this church were then transferred to the chapel.  In 1877, Chapel dedicated to Holy Souls (Santa Almas) and Our Lady Of Rosary was built at the same place and it was dignified to the church in 1906. This church had developed cracks due to the Koyna Earthquake in 1967 after which it was demolished to build the present Church of Our Lady Of Rosary in 1973.

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The second chapel is Chapel of Jesus Nazareth, which was built on the hillock of Nazareth-waddo, Siridao in the memory of departed souls, who were perished due to the Cholera epidemic in Siridao in 1790 and 1810. Pejechem Fest takes place at this chapel.

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Photo Source: JoeGoaUk

Pejechem Fest is attended by a lot of people from different parts of Goa. Pejechem fest is always celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Pilgrims from all over Goa come to this feast to make vows also called ‘Angvon’ or after fulfillment of vows like, “Saiba maka borem kor. Hanv tujea paiam kodde ieon pez jevtam.” (People make vows. Lord, please cure me. I will come to your feet and eat kanji or Pez).

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Before households from village Siridao used to provide accommodation for pilgrims coming from far away for the feast. They used to come by walking or sailing in canoes and catamarans from places like Sanvordem and Sanguem. Some used to come by singing and playing Ghumott. People coming via Canoes used to wharf behind the chapel and climb up the hill. Even now a few allow pilgrims to stay in their houses. Every house in this village is ready to serve a meal to the guests and no person is refused for a meal in the village houses on this feast day.

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Photo Source: JoeGoaUk
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Photo Source: JoeGoaUk

Traditionally the Pez is cooked in seven big pots (Moddkeo) and it should be always cooked by a married woman and not widow. the Pez/Kanji is cooked under the palm enclosure (matov) and then served to the people with traditional Goan bowls locally called as Kholeachem Aidon. There is no limit to have Pez, you can have as much as you can.

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Photo Source: JoeGoaUk

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