There is something special about festivals and India thrives in it in a vibrant manner. Amidst all the celebrations and occasions that dot the months of August, September, and October to December, the Mount Mary Fair in Bandra is very popular in this part of India, in Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra.
So what is the fair all about? Why is Mount Mary Fair held?
It is believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born on September 8, and the fair is a treat to all in celebration of this occasion. Mount Mary Basilica holds the feast and the carnival ambience and the electric atmosphere is proof enough to the happiness and solemness of the occasion. It is an absolute celebration with food stalls, and street events, amusement rides and shopping pleasures. There is something special to enjoy here and people come from afar to be a part of this event.
Mount Mary Basilica performs the Novena or prayers nine days prior to the festival and then the party begins in the main church complex and in the adjoining lanes in and around. This year the Mount Mary Fair or the Bandra Fair begins on September 14, and ends on September 21, 2014.
It is said that the Blessed Virgin Mary the mother of Jesus Christ was born on this day and people come here to fulfill their wishes. Such is the faith that people have on the Mother and it is not only the Christians who come here. The ratio of non Christians visiting the Mount Mary Fair is more than the Christian population. Mount Mary imbibes in everyone a spirit of trust, faith, happiness and joy and people enjoy coming here with their families and be a part of a wonderful occasion.
The Charm of Being in Mount Mary Fair
There is a special feeling to being a part of the Bandra Carnival. Mount Mary also called Maulicha Dongar or the Hill of the Mother in Marathi, the local language in Mumbai, is a symbol of peace and tranquility as it overlooks the serene Arabian Sea. With the seven step marble altar taking us to the wooden statue, the statue itself has a story to it. Legend says that the Portuguese brought the statue in the sixteenth century and then it was stolen by the pirates. Then a fisherman had a dream that the statue was floating in the sea and thus it was rediscovered and today stands tall as a symbol of belief and faith.
It was Shapoorjee Chandabhoy who designed the Mount Mary Basilica and the foundation was laid on May 11, 1902. The church has four stories and is a magnanimous structure 38 feet wide and 110 feet long. With two towers with a pyramidal spire, the murals adorning the walls only speak of the kind of constructional elegance that the Mount Mary Basilica is made up of. The ceiling a good 42 feet high made of teakwood, and the Gothic shades of construction make it a true feast for the eyes. In the year 1954, the Vatican declared Mount Mary Church as a Basilica. Pope John Paul II visited this church in the year 1986.
Visiting the Mount Mary Fair in Bandra is certainly a fulfilling experience for all and is a treasure chest of beautiful experiences and memories.