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The Mount Mary Festival is a significant religious event in Mumbai, India. Annually, it takes place after September 8, which is the feast of the Nativity of Mary. The festival celebrates faith and tradition, attracting thousands of devotees from around the city and the country.
September 11, 2023: The feast begins with a special mass at the Basilica of Mount Mary, a popular pilgrimage site dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Mass is followed by a procession of devotees through the streets of Bandra, where the church is located. The procession is a colourful and festive event, a festival highlight for many people.
Devotees seek blessings from Mother Mary
Thousands of devotees thronged the Basilica of Mount Mary on Sunday to seek blessings from Mother Mary during the feast held post-birth of Mother Mary. The Prabhakars were among the many devotees who came to the shrine to pray for the recovery of Francis Prabhakar, who had been misoperated and was suffering from a urinary infection.
“We have come to seek blessings and ask Mother that his problem goes away over some time,” said Sugirtha Prabhakar, Francis’ wife.
Other devotees visited the shrine to pray for good health, exam success, and other blessings.
The famous shrine among people of all faiths also saw several come on Sunday. With sandalwood, Tripund Tilak on her forehead, Sulabha Patil from Thane was one such. “It is Shravan month, and she (Mother Mary) is also like Devi. We pray, so I have come to seek her blessing. I first went to Siddhivinayak Temple and have now come here,” said Patil
Bandra| Fair offers a variety of food – games – rides
In addition to the religious events, the Mount Mary Festival also features a fair with various stalls selling food, drinks, and souvenirs. There are also games and rides for children, making the festival a fun and family-friendly event.
“We sell Goan chorizo pav, sorpotel, puffs, patties and rolls, among many other things. Sorpotel is very popular and is already over,” said Craig Pereira, who put up a food stall.
Another stall owner, Ramesh Jaiswal, said that the crowd would pick up by evening when the expected brisk business and the Fair’s last three days.
Crowds and traffic management
So far, it has been perfect. The police, BMC and authorities have been leading from the front. Crowd control and traffic management have been handled well, and necessary traffic diversions have been implemented. Stalls are in place without hindrance and obstruction to devotees who walk up and exit the Mount Mary Church steps. First Aid centres are located strategically in case emergency medical aid is required.
The Mount Mary Festival is a time for people of all faiths to come together to celebrate their faith and to pray for blessings. The colourful and festive event is a year’s highlight for many people in Mumbai. The Bandra Fair ends on September 17, 2023.