The Mount Mary Fair in Bandra is an eight day festive occasion and is celebrated to honour the birth of Virgin Mary. The belief is that Mother Mary was born on September 8 and so every year the Mount Mary Basilica celebrates by giving a feast to Our Lady of the Mount. This is a true carnival and has lovely shopping stalls, street events, food stalls, and amusement rides. It also has concerts and wonderful memories to take back.
The venue usually is the Mount Mary Church complex and in all the lanes surrounding the church. This year the Bandra Fair as it is also called begins on Bandra Fair Start Date: 10th September, 2017 (Sunday)
Bandra Fair End Date: 17st September, 2017 (Sunday)
Mount Mary Basilica performs the prayers or Novena for the Blessed Virgin Mary nine days before the fair begins.
It is said that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ. Her birthday is celebrated as the Nativity or the Birth Day. People come from far and wide to express their gratitude to Virgin Mary and also to pray for the well being of their family and close ones. It is said that all wishes are granted when we visit the Mount Mary Fair. People of all castes, faith come to the Mount Mary Fair and pray. In fact, the ratio of non Christians is more than Christians in the fair. Mount Mary resides in everyone’s hearts and is regarded as a symbol of faith and trust.
The entire atmosphere is one of electric ambience and people enjoy with their families the sight of this carnival ambience. Street shopping, street events, concerts, plays, and rides form a major part of this festival.
Mount Mary and its Beauty
Also called Maulicha Dongar or the Hill of the Mother in Marathi, Mount Mary Basilica is a beautiful place with a complete view of the Arabian Sea. Located in a hill in Bandra, the church is also known by the name of Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount. With the magnificent statue of Mother Mary holding Baby Jesus, there is lovely seven step marble altar that takes us to the wooden statue. This Marian Shrine is also called Moti Mauli or Pearl Mother in Marathi. Legend has it that the Portuguese brought the original statue to India sometime in the 16th century. Then the stature got stolen in 1700 by pirates. Then the story goes on to tell how a fisherman had a dream that the statue would be floating on the sea and this is how it was discovered.
Design & Construction
The entire basilica is designed by Shapoorjee Chandabhoy and started getting constructed on 11, May 1902. The church with its four stories is magnanimous with a width of 38 feet and a length of 110 feet. There are two towers with a pyramidal spire. There are murals all over and the central nave is made out of stone. The ceiling is around 42 feet high and is made of teakwood. Complete with shades of Gothic construction, Mount Mary Basilica is a wonder for the eyes. It was declared a basilica in the year 1954 by the Vatican. In fact, Pope John Paul II visited tthis church in 1986
With beautiful desires, and honest confessions, all devotees visit Mount Mary Fair and come back with a treasure house of energy, belief, and trust.