Come September and the streets of Bandra reclaimation are clogged with festivities. What festivities you ask ? Every September, the feast of Mount Mary is celebrated on the Sunday following the September 8th which is the birthday of Mary the Mother of Jesus.. This is a week long celebration known as the Bandra Fair.
Here is short blurb from my post on the fair last year.
Most residents of Bandra associate September with the birth anniversary of St Mary and the week long Bandra Fair that follows. All these activities are centered around one of Bandras hillocks, and the crowning glory of this hill, the 101 year old , Our Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount Mary in Bandra, commonly referred to as Mount Mary.[[Continue Reading]]
As most would know, Bombay was originally seven islands originally lived on by the Kohlis, it was then initiated by the Portuguese, till it was briefly held by the Marathas before the British took her over till independence. Proof of this brief Iberian tryst is quiet simple to explain, most people in India call the potato - aloo, but in Bombay it is called batata with is incidentally the Portuguese word.
I live in Bandra and drawn by the tales of home made Goan specialities Vindaloo, Xacuto and Sorpotel and not to mention Bibinca, decided to pay the fair a visit. I started at the base of the hill, at Bandra reclamation where the small entwining streets of Bandra Village end. The streets were lined with shops selling everything from strangely shaped candles to clothes to shinny new toys to candy floss and sweets to snacks and food. Hordes of people made their way slowly, in a festive spirit to the top. Kids tagged their parents hands pointing up to the Ferris-wheel and making the appropriately cute gesture, coaxing them into coughing up the money needed for some delirious fun. These are the scenes that make me as trigger happy [with the camera] as a Japanese tourist with a 2 gb flash card.
As always I decided to visit and take some pictures.
[Religion is all about the symbolism]
[Street side games. The rules are simple pay the guy 10 bucks grab one of the rings, stand a fair distance and throw. If you are lucky you could walkaway with a packet or biscuits, a bar of soap or a colddrink.]
[More stuff for sale]
[Tiny little Gods]
[Flowers for Mary]
[Painful arthritis? Give a leg. Want a baby? Give a doll. Wish for a safe journey? Give a plane.
These are just some of the candles, believers to the Mount Mary church at Bandra, offer as part of their prayers. Believers say that the offerings can help cure illnesses.
So, on the rows of stalls, just outside the church, are candles in the shape of different body parts like eyes, ears, nose, legs and other shapes like houses, dolls, aeroplanes, money, etc. Each shape has a special significance.]