For every Bengali woman ‘sidur khela’ (Vermillion game) holds much significance. Every year on Vijaya dashami/ Bijoya dashami, which marks the culmination of the five days of Durga Puja, ‘lal-par shada saree’ clad Bengali women follow this ritual to the tee. They bid farewell to Ma Durga, who leaves for her heavenly abode and Lord Shiva, after the annual visit to her earthly paternal home.
The origin of this ritual is unknown to this day, but it is believed to have started about 200 years ago in the Rajbaris, to usher in bonhomie among the housewives. On this occasion of ‘Durga Boron’, the Goddess is treated with sweets and betel leaves. Revelry plays a key role in the ritual. Once the sindoor — a symbolic representation of a married life — is applied on the goddess’ idol, every married woman goes around smearing it on each other’s forehead and on their iron bangles (noa). However, the ritual is not strictly restricted to married women. Sometimes, even young girls indulge in this colourful ritual, but that is only out of devotion for the Goddess.
The vibrance and bonhomie of ‘Sidur Khela’ is infectious with the psychedelic ‘Dhaak’ beats and chorus chanting of ‘Bolo Durga Maiki … Joy’ (glory to Goddess Durga) creating the perfect background score.
Sharing some pictures from the event, that is so much a part of the bengali culture !
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(And if you want to read in detail about what Durga Puja is all about you can refer to our other write-ups on the same, or the story here ! )
Devlina, is in her own words, “just another Bengali woman proud of her Rabindrasangeet and Rosogolla roots ….. a psychiatry resident, still picking up the shells on the Freudian shore !”
For her other articles on Blong…Shong, Click Here