Deeper than the azure ocean flanking the Goan coastline is the faith of the Goan people as its aptly demonstrated in the holy cross, a simple white washed stone structure.
These little shrines are flower decked and filled with wax from the numerous votive candles placed there by believers. In the evenings, one often comes across groups of faithful, devoutly singing litanies (hymns) invoking a blessing or in thanksgiving for favours granted.
The cross on the Goan landscape besides being a reminder along the way of God's presence also serves as a meeting point and a local landmark.
At "Ancestral Goa" - the cross gathers its faithful every year on the 7th of February in a ceremony of Thanksgiving.
Boca da Vaca
Most springs in Goa have miraculous healing powers - medicinal and restorative. In villages the springs dotting the hillsides were the main water sources for the villagers. A hollow stem of a palm leaf was often fitted into the source, so that the water would flow evenly.
At Ancestral Goa, the spring flows through an earthen ware cow's mouth, hence its name Boca da Vaca (Cow's mouth). The flowing water benefits not only the washer woman but also collects to form a pond sanctuary for birds, fish and animals.
On 24th June the village young men wearing a wreath of creepers and flowers on their heads, jump into the village well/pond. This leaping and diving into wells was done to commemorate the leap of joy of Saint John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth when Our Lady visited her. Brides who become mothers took gifts of jackfruit, mangoes and feni to the divers who in turn crowned the infants with tiny wreaths. It was around this time that boys learnt to swim and dive in the overflowing wells. The learner was let into the well with a rope tied to his waist and a pair of coconuts(vanzam) as a float. Every boy had to learn swimming/diving not only because of feast but also it could help to retrieve the copper pot fallen in well.