Bandra Fair is a weeklong fair held annually in Bandra, Mumbai on the following Sunday after September 8, the birth date of Virgin Mary. The Fair estimated to be around 300 years is a weeklong celebration and is visited by thousands of people from all over.
During the whole week, the entire area from Mount Mary steps through John the Baptist Road to Mt. Carmel’s Church ground is decorated with adornments and streamers. Many stalls are put up which sell religious objects, roasted grams and sweet items. Sweets like Guava cheese, kadio bodio, Mawa Peda, Chikki and Halwa are found in an assortment at many stalls during the fair.
A specialty here are the wax idols of Virgin Mary along with different types of candles in the shape of hands, feet and other parts of the body. It is believed that if the sick light the candle corresponding to the ailment, Mother Mary will look upon their appeal and help. The shrine attracts people from all faiths who come to pay regards to Mother Mary.
The whole area is draped in a festive zeal. Clowns, circus stunts , mimicry shows,and other entertaining activities further add to it. Snacks are mostly home-made by the locals residing in the area. These stalls present at every corner are not only tasty and affordable but also breed a feeling on oneness.
The fair has everything for one and all. Stalls selling bottles of soapy water, toys, games etc are very popular with kids. Rides like the giant wheel, merry-go-rounds, sea on land and other rides are frequented by children, teenagers and people from other age groups. Special traffic arrangements and diversions are made to ensure that traffic and the festival both run in tandem with each other. The entire merry making and music for the whole week makes everyone a kid at heart. Daily activities and programmes are announced which add to the things to do.
The Bandra festival unites people of all ages and communities and gives Bandraites a chance to play ‘host’ to their family and friends living elsewhere. This occasions brings an opportunity for friends living in Bandra and nearby areas to unite over drinks and food. The Bandra fest is indeed a prime time for creative comradeship and tie everyone together in a common string of brotherhood.
By – Avni Mehrotra