Bengali Tradition: “Sindoor khela”, Bengali Women Play On Vijaydashami

Sindoor Khela: 

It is an age old ritual that on the last day of Durga puja “Vijayadashami”, women apply sindoor/sindur on the goddess’s feet or forehead and then start smearing it to all the married women around. However, unmarried women or widows are not allowed to celebrate Sindoor Khela.

 Sindoor Khela celebrates the pride that Bengali wives take in having a husband and to wish a long happy life of her better half.

The customary “Sindoor Khela” marks the end of the biggest festival of the Bengalis. It is the time when all the actresses in Kolkata get together and splash each other with the vermilion.

 

History of Sindoor Khela:

 Sindoor Khela dates back to around 400 years. It was the time when people had just started celebrating Durga Puja. According to a famous legend, every year Maa Durga during Durga Puja, comes back to her parents place (father Giriraj and mother Menoka). She also brings her daughters (Saraswati and Lakshmi), two sons (Ganesh and Kartik) and 2 companions (Bijoya and Jaya) along with her. Maa Durga stays along with her parents for only 4 days and on Vijayadashami, she has to return to Shiva (her husband) in the far Himalayas. Before bidding the final goodbye to the Goddess, women apply sindoor on Durga’s feet and forehead and then they play with vermilion or sindoor with each other. They also pray to the Goddess for their happy and long married lives.
Sindoor Khela

Significance Of Sindoor Khela:

Sindoor Khela is a tradition which is followed every year on the day of Vijayadashami. For all the Bengali women, this is the final ritual which holds a great significance. On Vijayadashami, or the last day of Durga Puja, married women put on sindoor or vermilion on Maa Durga’s forehead and feet and thereafter they apply it on the other married women present around them. This ritual is enjoyed just like a game and thus it is called “Sindoor Khela”. Women enjoy smearing sindoor on each other. Since sindoor is a sign of a married woman, this ritual means to wish each and everyone a good fortune and a happy married life. (boldsky)

Some Photos of Bengali Women Playing Sindoor Khela:

 

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