‘Chikhal Kalo’ means ‘Play in the mud” signifies the games played by Lord Krishna during his childhood.
Many Goan festivals are linked to the cycles of nature and it isn’t surprising that the monsoon is an occasion to celebrate chikhal kalo, literally mud play.
The Chikhal Kalo is unique to the village of Marcel, in the taluka of Ponda. Celebrated on the twelfth day of the fourth month of Ashadh in the Hindu calendar, the festival is dedicated to Krishna in his childhood stage which is Balkrishna.
Goan Hindus dressed only in their lower body garments such as short vests and frolic in the muck (ChiKhal) by playing some traditional Goan games or some sporting games spontaneously. The whole scene takes place in front of the Devaki-Krishna temple in Marcel.
The festival of ChiKhal Kalo is believed to have been traditionally celebrated in Marcel as a portrayal of baby Lord Krishna who loved to play with his friends in Vrindavan and in Marcel it is celebrated as a sign of gratitude to Krishna.