In Cansaulim, three young boys from the villages of Cansaulim, Arossim and Cuelim are selected to enact the role of the Three Kings. The three lads travel on horseback through three different paths and converge some distance away from the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies) atop the hill at Cuelim. Dressed up as kings, and carrying the gifts of the original Three Kings - gold, frankincense and myrrh - they proceed to the chapel together to partake in the feast mass at 10.30am.
The chapel famous because of the feast of the Three Kings was founded by Fr Gonsalo Carvalho in 1599 and is affiliated to the St Thomas Church, Cansaulim.
The privilege to organize the feast is given to the "vangodds" of the gauncars (the indigenous Goans) of the comunidade of Cansaulim, Arossim and Cuelim, for the help they had rendered to the early Church in Goa.
As the members of the Christian community have been celebrating this feast every year, devotees in thousands from all over the state relive this journey and attend the feast.
After the mass, the three kings leave the chapel in a procession stopping at different places for blessing and rest, before assembling at the St Thomas Church at Cansaulim for a ceremony, before departing to their homes by different routes. Biblical accounts have it that the kings were told by an angel to take a different route to their homelands and avoid meeting King Herod who wanted to kill young Jesus. The feast of three kings marks the end of the Christmas season.
Photos by Lynn Barreto Miranda / lynn.barretomiranda.com