Bengal’s traditional ‘Sindoor Khela’ ceremony was performed with enthusiasm by Shakti Foundation, a women’s organisation of Jaipur at Hotel Golden Tulip on Monday evening. The programme started with a detailed explanation about the tradition of ‘Sindoor Khela’ and its importance, after which a puja was organised. Women dressed in traditional white saree of Bengal with red border first offered vermillion to Maa Durga, then applied vermillion to each other and performed the ritual of ‘Sindoor Khela’. During the ritual, the women one by one performed the aarti of Maa Durga and prayed for the long life of their husbands.
In this ritual, not only married women but also unmarried women participated enthusiastically and gave the message of sisterhood and harmony. The performance of ‘Navadurga Rockers’, a band of local artists from Kolkata, was the special attraction of the programme. Women fed up each other sweets and danced together to celebrate. Shakti Foundation members Sonakshi Vashishtha, Sushmita Das, Heena, Anupama Agarwal, Dr. Supriya Gupta, Nimisha Gupta, Sanjita Verma, Rashmi Baheti, Chaitali Sengupta, Shammi Goyal, Shruti Luthra were present in the programme.
Sonakshi Vashishtha, Founder of Shakti Foundation, said that this is the 5th year that this event of ‘Sindoor Khela’ has been organised by the Foundation in Jaipur. This is an initiative for the local people to learn and celebrate new cultures. She further said that for this event, eco-friendly idol of Maa Durga, traditional clothes and puja plates were specially procured from Kolkata. Foundation members from Kolkata, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer and other cities of Rajasthan also participated in the event.
It is noteworthy that on the last day of Durga Puja, the ritual of Sindoor Khela is performed by the Bengali community. According to Bengali tradition, it is believed that Goddess Durga comes to earth with her four children to celebrate the festival. An atmosphere of sadness prevails on the last day of the festival, when Goddess Durga is bid farewell. It is believed that Goddess Durga had shed tears, hence her cheeks are wiped with betel leaves before offering vermilion. After this, vermilion is offered on their demand and traditional bangles. Then women touch the feet of Goddess Durga and take blessings for a happy life and prosperity of the family. Later, all the women apply vermillion to each other and feed sweets.