By |03 Oct 2022 at 9:49 PM
Sindoor Khela

Durga Puja 2022 has begun: Hindus place a lot of emphasis on the nine days of Navratri, and the Bengali culture values Durga Puja, which lasts five days, as their most important holiday. Bengali people participate in several traditions during Durga Puja. Bengalis observe Durga’s puja for her once a year, when they believe Goddess Durga spends five days visiting her earthly home. Durga Puja is more than simply a religious celebration for Bengalis. The sindoor khela is one of them. For married ladies, this practise holds a unique meaning. Tell us when Bengali ladies perform Vermilion and what it means.

What is Sindoor Khela?

Literally translated as “playing with vermilion powder,” sindoor khela is played by married ladies in Bengali culture who have worn sindoor on the feet and forehead of Goddess Durga for centuries. After that, Shankha, Paula, and Noah, all married women, apply sindoor to one another’s foreheads. Here are her three bracelets, which are made of conch shell, coral, and iron and are worn by all married women in Bengal. The women dance while applying sindoor on one another to the beat of the “daki” drummer.

On the tenth day of Navratri, the day of Dussehra, is when Sindoor Khela occurs. Today is the day to bid Goddess Durga adieu. Women begin the day by completing the “Devi Balan,” a rite to bid Goddess Durga farewell, followed by Aarti, while wearing white sarees with crimson trim. After that, sindoor is applied to the goddess’s feet and forehead, and sweets are presented. At the conclusion of her celebration, in a ceremony known as “Gatbisarjan,” Goddess Durga is submerged in water. After “Ghat Visarjan,” Sindoor Khela is held to encourage warmth and friendliness among ladies.

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Sindoor Khela: The background and customs surrounding this rite

This custom’s exact start date and location are unclear. One account claims that the practise began around 200 years ago during Durga Pujas held at the zamindar’s home to bless the housewife.
Another myth is that Sindoor Khela, which dates back around 400 years, is as old as Durga Puja itself. The word Sindoor Khela refers to the game-like nature of the event. One of the most significant Vijayadashami ceremonies is Sindoor Khela.
Women put vermilion powder on the forehead of the Durga goddess during Sindoor Khela and present sweets before Visajana.

It symbolises the return trip to Kailash, Lord Shiva’s residence, with kids and animals.
Before travelling to meet their in-laws, Bengali mothers would customarily apply sindoor to the foreheads of their married daughters. It was viewed as a type of blessing to strengthen bonds. Due to the fact that Goddess Durga is revered as both a mother and a daughter, this gesture naturally included Durga statues as well.
All single, divorced, or widowed women were prohibited from taking part in Sindoor Khela, and only married women were permitted to attend the ritual. It was also the main argument against tradition. Today, regardless of their marital status, all women are welcome to take part in the celebration, making the tradition more inclusive.

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In 2022, When is Sindoor Khela?

Married Bengali ladies execute the Sindoor Khela rite on Vijayadasami (Dussela), the final day of the Navratri celebration. The Vermillion of this year On October 5, 2022, she will be buried. a Bengali custom that says you would receive the blessing of being Saubhagavati if you adhere to it before saying goodbye to your mother.

Significance of this ritual

The strength of a lady who shields her husband and kids from danger is exemplified by Sindoor Khela. Through the ritual, Bengali Hindu ladies pray to one another for a long and blissful marriage. This method is employed to resolve small disagreements between neighbours and within families.
However, a recent Calcutta Times campaign brought back the custom of solely women performing sindoor, including married, widowed, transgender, and red-light district women, demonstrating that this is a global tradition. Unmarried women and widows are not permitted to participate in rituals. It is not just a link between married women; it unites all women as sisters.

Sindoor Khela: Universal look

White sarees with crimson borders are an indisputable part of Sindoor Khela’s traditional attire, and several iterations of this outfit have surfaced over time. Additionally, traditional jewellery is worn in a set. A white sari from Sindoor Khela with sindoor is a must-have item on any Bengali woman’s Durga Puja shopping list. A Bengali woman in this saree appears to be a devi.