by Gargi Harjai November 29, 2021
Sindur khela which translates into vermillion game, is a Bengali tradition which is celebrated every year on the last day of Durga puja. In this tradition married Bengali women apply sindur on the forehead. After this ritual is done with the goddess they start playing with other married women and smear’s each other’s faces with sindur.This day is very emotional and many people feel extremely sad to say goodbye to Durga Mata. Even though it is very emotional, many people look forward to this day and commemorate the occasion with proper rituals and give a very happy goodbye to the goddess.On the day of Vijay Dashami, the last day of the festival, Durga Mata is bid adieu and the Ghat Visarjan (immersion of idol of Durga) is done, which is symbolic to the ending of rituals and festivals.Married women are dressed in white sarees which are designed with red borders. They start the custom with Devi Baran, in which every woman does Aarti of goddess and apply sindur(vermillion) on the forehead of idol of Goddess Durga. This ritual is made as women greets goodbye to Durga Mata and asks for her blessings. They also offer her sweets and Betel leaves.After the custom of Devi Baran, women start playing with each other. Younger married women apply sindur on the forehead of older women and seek for their blessings. They also apply sindur on each other’s forehead, and smear each other’s faces very carefully.This tradition used to be only for married women, but with time it is becoming more inclusive and even unmarried women, windows, and men participate in the occasion.Sindur khela is a tradition which celebrates the power of Durga- a married avatar of shakti. It marks the spirit of womanhood and her power of protecting family (husband and children). Women pray for longevity of the life of their husbands and their health on this day.
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