Navarti Special : Do you know what is Sindhoor Khela?
Navratri is going on and almost everyone is doing their best to impress Maa Durga. Sindoor Khela is a tradition which is followed every year on the day of Vijayadashami. It’s a bengali ritual basically. For all the Bengali women, this is the final ritual which holds a great significance.
On Vijayadashami, or the last day of Durga Puja, married women put on sindoor on Maa Durga’s forehead and feet and thereafter they apply it on the other married women present around them.
This ritual is enjoyed just like a game and thus it is called “Sindoor Khela”. Women enjoy smearing sindoor on each other. Since sindoor is a sign of a married woman, this ritual means to wish each and everyone a good fortune and a happy married life. Unmarried women are not permitted to be a part of this fascinating ritual. Girls you have to wait untill you get a Mr. Perfect for you.
History Behind Sindoor
Every ritual has its own great and enriched history. According to a famous legend, every year during Durga Puja, Maa Durga comes back to her parents place (father Giriraj and mother Menoka). She also brings her daughters (Saraswati and Lakshmi), two sons (Ganesh and Kartik) and 2 companions (Bijoya and Jaya) along with her.
Maa Durga stays along with her parents for only 4 days and on Vijayadashami, she has to return to Shiva (her husband) in the far Himalayas. Before bidding the final goodbye to the Goddess, women apply sindoor on Durga’s feet and forehead and then they play with vermilion or sindoor with each other. They also pray to the Goddess for their happy and long married lives.
Customs before and after sindhoor khela
Vijayadashami is the farewell day of Maa Durga and on this very day, the Goddess is revered to as “Aparajita”. This day is concluded with the Maha Arati, which mainly marks the ending of all the prayers and rituals of Durga Puja
A shital bhog is offered to the Goddess, which comprises Kochur Shaak, Panta Bhaat and Ilish Macher Bhaja. Thereafter, the priest executes the Visarjan Puja.
This particular ritual is followed by the Prasasthi Vandana. A mirror is positioned before Maa Durga and all her devotees stare into the mirror to get a glimpse of the Goddess’s feet. The mirror represents that whenever Maa Durga is bathed as per any particular ritual, it is not actually the deity that is bathed, but its reflection.
Next ritual comes is the “Devi Boron”, which is the final goodbye to the Goddess by all the married women of the neighborhood. The women carry out the Aarti of the deity and coat her with sindoor. They also offer her paan (or beetle leaf) and sondesh (a dry sweet)
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