In honour of the memory of 'Mother Mary, who was born on September 8; the 'Mount Mary Festival', also known as 'Bandra Fair' is held at the 'Mount Mary Church' also known as 'Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount' in Bandra, Mumbai.
The festival begins on the first Sunday after 8 September every year as it is regarded as the birthday of the 'Virgin Mary'. 'Mount Mary Fair', this year will be held from September 10 to September 17.
'Mount Mary Church' also known as 'Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount' in Bandra, Mumbai |
History of the Mount Mary Church in Bandra
The history of the church dates back to 1570 AD. It is believed that Portugal priests first constructed the chapel. They are credited with having transported the statuette here.
The statue was replaced with a statue of 'Our Lady of Navigators' in 1700 AD. The church was refurbished and rebuilt in 1761 AD.
History of the Mount Mary Church in Bandra |
The old statue however is still worshipped even after restoration. Hindus, Christians and Kolis residents from this region have their utmost faith in the idol and believe that their sincere prayers will definitely, be answered.
Significance of Mount Mary Church
Significance of Mount Mary Church |
Mount Mary Church is regarded as one of the most holy places for Christians. Kolis of Bandra call this statue as 'Moti Mauli' in Marathi meaning 'Pearl Mother'. Mother Mary holding little Jesus to her bosom is the centrepiece of this church in Bandra.
Mount Mary Festival has been hosted for more than 300 years. It is held within the Mount Mary Church complex and the lanes around the church. It is like a carnival with games, concerts and amusement rides.
During the festival, there are stalls that sell exotic delicacies of both Goan and Maharashtrian culture. They also sell sweets, homemade cakes and fudges, chikki and many other edibles. In past years, as many as 430 stalls selling candles, flowers, food, toy and artificial jewellery are set up at the fair.
The Mount Mary Festival attracts a large number of people from all religions and communities.