Pics by Dayananda Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore / Udupi, Sep 8: The Catholics flocked to churches across the district in huge numbers in celebration of the feast of Nativity or Monthi Fest, marking the birthday of Mother Mary.
World over, this day is celebrated as the feast of Immaculate Conception. The Konkani Christians, apart from paying obeisance to Mother Mary, also celebrate the festival of the new corn (harvest) on this day.
The faithful thronged churches in processions, dressed in colourful attires, with people carrying flowers in baskets and paddy. Churches at Bendore, Milagres, Valencia, Urwa, Bejai, Kulshekar and everywhere else wore a festive look, brimming with devotees and resounding with traditional hymns.
Pics from Bondel Church :
Mother of Sorrow Church - Udupi
A series of 9 Novenas to the Blessed Virgin Mary are recited on a daily basis, at the end of which children offer flowers in a ceremonious manner at the grotto of Mother Mary. Sweets are distributed to all the children on the novena days.
The paddy or first grain is brought to the Altar in a procession and blessed by the priest. The offertory procession includes the statue of Mother Mary, sugarcane, vegetables, flowers, fruits, bread and wine.
The blessed paddy and sugarcanes are then taken home by the people. The grains are crushed at home, added to milk, and served to the family members.
It is also an occasion for get-togethers, with members of the family sharing a festal lunch comprising sumptuous vegetarian dishes. Mangalorean Catholics celebrate this festival with great fervour, no matter which part of the world they are in.
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