Goa Liberation Day [19th December]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Nov 15, 2022, 12:09

India celebrates Goa Liberation Day every year on 19th December. On this day in 1961, Indian military forces liberated Goa after 450 long years of Portuguese domination. This day is celebrated with a plethora of events and festivities, with a torchlight procession beginning in three different locations across the state and finally culminating in the Azad Maidan. Goa Liberation Day2022 will mark the state's 61 years of independence.

Goa Liberation Day is observed as a state-wide regional public holiday so that everyone can participate in the festivities. Every Goan celebrates the day with much pride and enthusiasm. Know more about the history and significance of this day here.

Goa Liberation Day 2022

On 19th December 1961, Indian forces finally annexed the 450-year Portuguese rule in Goa. The day is celebrated as Goa Liberation Day to mark the great occasion. Even after the official independence of India in 1947, the Portuguese refused to leave the Goan territory, which forced the Indian military to take action. Consequently, the Portuguese army retreated, and Goa was finally liberated in 1961.

Along with Goa, the Portuguese also ruled the Daman and Diu territories, which were also liberated by the Indian military. Here is an overview of Goa Day:

Event Name

Goa Liberation Day


19th December (every year)




To commemorate Goa’s liberation from the Portuguese in 1961.

Goa Liberation Day History

The history of Goa Independence Day can be traced back to after India gained independence from British rule. By the time India gained independence in 19447, the Portuguese colonies in India had shrunk to Goa, Daman and Diu and refused to retreat from these territories. Small-scale revolts began during the Goa freedom movement, which sought to end Portuguese colonial control in Goa.

Eventually, a special operation for the liberation of Goa, called Operation Vijay, was effectively carried out by the Indian Army. Within 36 to 40 hours after it began, it put an end to centuries of foreign dominance in Goa.

On 19th December 1961 at 6 pm, all operations in Goa came to a halt. At 7.30 pm, the surrender agreement was signed between General Salo E Silva, the Portuguese governor, and Major General K P Candeth, who led Operation Vijay. The latter was appointed as the military Governor of Goa. Thus, Goa Day came into existence.

Goa Day - Portuguese Settlement in Goa

Goa Freedom Day is observed each year to celebrate freedom from Portuguese rule. Goa is the smallest state in India, located on the west coast. Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama discovered a new sea route to India by the end of the 15th century, making Goa an attractive location for trade.

With the support of a local ally, the Portuguese defeated the governing Bijapur monarch Yusuf Adil Shah in 1510, establishing a permanent presence in Goa. This marked the start of the Portuguese occupation of Goa, which would remain for nearly 450 years before the liberation of Goa on 19th December 1961.

Timeline of Goa Liberation Day:

  • Goa was still under Portuguese rule on 15th August 1947, when India attained independence, and the rule continued for more than a decade.
  • The Portuguese refused to give up the territories of Goa and Daman, and Diu.
  • To liberate Goa, India began a series of failed negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese.
  • Then, Jawaharlal Nehru, India's former prime minister, decided that military intervention was the only option.
  • The military action, code-named Operation Victory or Operation Vijay, began on 18th December 1961.
  • The next day, after various operations throughout Goa, Indian forces arrived in Panjim and flew the Indian flag, having successfully reached Betim the day before.
  • Major General KP Candeth raised the Indian national flag, declaring the liberation of Goa. This is why Goa Liberation Day is celebrated on 19th December every year.

Importance of Goa Liberation Day

Goa Liberation Day 2022 is an important occasion as it marks the day on which the Indian state finally got freedom from Portuguese rule. Although this day is celebrated throughout the country, it is especially important for Goans. So, on this day, the Goans get together and participate in a number of public activities.

Goa Freedom Day also signifies the strength of the Indian military, as it is through their efforts that the state finally gained independence. Moreover, it also highlights the fearless leadership due to which Operation Vijay was successful in Goa. All Goans celebrate this day on 19th December every year.

How is Goa Independence Day Celebrated?

To celebrate Goa Day, many public processions are carried out, and events are held across the state. Here are some of the ways in which people observe this day:

  • The Indian Naval Ship Gomantak has a War Memorial dedicated to the seven sailors and other staff who passed away on 19th December 1961 fighting for the liberation of Goa.
  • The officers of the Indian Navy pay honour to these warriors on Goa Liberation Day every year.
  • At the war memorial, a guard parades and lays wreaths on this occasion.
  • People burst firecrackers as a gesture of happiness over the independence of their state from Portuguese rule.

Important Current Affairs Topics

World Mosquito DayWorld Music Day
World Ngo DayWorld Ozone Day
World Peace And Understanding DayWorld Pest Day
World Pharmacists DayWorld Pneumonia Day
World Poetry DayWorld Polio Day

FAQS on Goa Liberation Day

Q1. When is Goa Liberation Day celebrated?

Goa Liberation Day is celebrated on 19th December every year in India to mark the state's liberation from Portuguese rule. The Portuguese ruled the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, and others, even after India gained independence. Goa was finally liberated in 1961.

Q2. When was Goa liberated from Portuguese rule?

Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule on 19th December 1961 by the Indian military. When the Portuguese refused to retreat from Goa, the Indian military conducted 'Operation Vijay' to liberate the state successfully.

Q3. Why is Goa Liberation Day celebrated?

Goa Liberation Day commemorates the liberation of Goa by Indian military forces in 1961, after 450 years of Portuguese domination. Therefore, Goa Day is observed as a day of celebration by the Goan people.

Q4. Is Goa Liberation Day a national holiday?

No, Goa Liberation Day is not a national holiday. However, it is a state-wide regional public holiday in Goa. Goa Day is celebrated to commemorate the state's liberation from Portuguese rule in 1961.