Thousands throng Mount MaryMumbai geared up to celebrate the annual Mount Mary festival in Bandra, from September 8 to September 15, where people flock in huge numbers to the queen of the suburbs. A big occasion that draws in people irrespective of religion. The legend itself has its origins three centuries ago when a statue of Mother Mary was found floating in the Arabian Sea between 1700 and 1760. The local kolis considered this to be a miracle.
This year saw the event celebrated in carnivallike style. Bylanes next to the venue had families set up small food stalls selling fresh, home cooked treats traditionally found at the fair. Apart from that, there were stalls dotting the area around the Basilica, Kane Road, Mt Mary Road, St John Baptist Road and Rebello Road selling rosaries, religious scapulars, speciality foods (plum cake, fugias, guava cheese, sorpotel, chikki, vindaloo and bibinca), clothes and handicrafts. The majority of these stalls are set up by locals. In essence, most of Bandra becomes a huge confluence of people of all faiths and from all walks of life.
AT A GLANCE The famous Mount Mary Basilica celebrates the Nativity of Mother Mary (September 8), also known as the feast of Our Lady of the Mount.
Being an auspicious occasion, the people who attend the Church services have a strong belief that their wishes will be fulfilled.
Such is the appeal of the festival that it draws people from all religions not just for the
Devotees offer up prayers
People of all faiths gather for the Mount Mary festival
Families outside the Basilica
Black chana is a popular snack sold at the festival
People shop for various sweetmeats too
Candles in different shapes are used by devotees to make their offerings
A Mass being conducted inside the Mount Mary Church