Sep 8, 2009
Monti Fest - 2009
Mangalore, Sep 8: September 8 is the most important day for the Konkani-speaking Catholics living in Coastal Karnataka. The way ˜Monthi Fest' or St Mary's feast, also known by the name, ˜Nativity of Mary, is being celebrated by the Christians here since long, is not only unique, but also appears to be a way of thanking mother nature and mother earth for the bounteous crops, in addition to paying obeisance to Virgin Mary.
On the birth anniversary of their beloved ˜Monthi', the Catholics here restrict themselves to vegetarian diet. It is also the day on which they have the ˜Nove Jevan (new meal). Every catholic family collects freshly harvested ears of paddy and sugarcanes, which are blessed by the priests. The grains from the paddy so taken home, are crushed and their powder is added to milk. The senior members of every family serve this milk to other members. Many of those, who have settled abroad, specifically come home to take part in 'Monthi Fest'
In the city, one of the earliest Monthi Fest celebrations were held in Milagres church, in the year 1906. Unlike other places, in Milagres, people gather at one of the houses in their wards every day for nine days prior to Monthi Fest for novena, instead of gathering at the church.
The world over, the day is celebrated as the ˜feast of immaculate conception. The devotees use this day for re-asserting their unwavering faith in the Lord, with soulful prayers, with the clear knowledge that remembering the kindness of divine powers invokes divine mercy that gets them constant flow of the God's blessings.