Curated By: Nibandh Vinod
Last Updated: September 11, 2023, 19:31 IST
Every year, Mumbai celebrates the Mount Mary Festival, popularly known as the Bandra Fair, to pay homage to Mother Mary (mother of Jesus Christ) who was born on September 8. The festival is held at the Mount Mary Church, also called the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, located in Bandra. People of various faiths attend the fair, which has become an essential part of Mumbai’s cultural fabric over the years. This festival is a lively and colourful event that attracts a large number of visitors. The Mount Mary Festival is a grand annual event that spans about a week.
Mount Mary Festival 2023: Date
Every year, the festival begins on the first Sunday after September 8. Mount Mary Fair will be held this year from September 10 to September 17. The fair is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Those who wish to attend should consult the notice board in the church or keep an eye out for activities taking place throughout the day.
Mount Mary Festival 2023: History and Significance
According to folktales, the fair began when a statue of St. Mary was discovered floating in the Arabian Sea, which borders the cathedral. It had been a dream of a Koli fisherman a few years before. Many devotees seek blessings from this holy statue. The festival takes place in the Mount Mary Church complex and the alleys around the church. The celebrations are similar to a funfair which includes games, concerts, and amusement rides. During the event, there are kiosks selling Goan and Maharashtrian cuisine. They also sell sweets, handcrafted cakes and fudges, chikki, and other delectable treats.
The Mount Mary Church is in Bandra, Mumbai. Its history dates back to the 16th century, when the Portuguese initially built a small church on this hill. Over the years, the church has undergone several changes and renovations, evolving into the magnificent structure that stands today. This site holds immense importance for Christians and is considered one of the holiest places. The Koli community in Bandra affectionately call this statue ‘Moti Mauli’ in Marathi, which means ‘Pearl Mother.’