The Game of Vermilion

Whenever we are talking about Durga Puja, one thing always make bengali Hindu women more excited, and that is “Sindur Khela”(Vermilion Play). Sindur khela is a very colourful bengali hindu festival which celebrate on Vijayadashami. According to the one theory, the zamindar houses to usher bonhomie among the housewives, around 200yrs ago.And the second theory, Sindur Khela is as old as Durga Puja, almost 400yrs old.     

Photo by Boudhayan Bardhan

               Every year, on Vijayadashami (10th Day of Durga Puja ) every bengali Hindu married women usually dressed in a white sari with red borders apply sindur with betel leaves on Maa durga’s (Goddess Durga ) cheeks and put sindur (Vermilion) on her forehead and feet and also offer her some sweets. Bengalis call it “devi baran utsab”. After doing this, every bengali Hindu married women smear sindur each other’s forehead and cheeks and offer some sweets to each other.

Bengali’s Sindur Khela is a very joyful festival where just not only married women also bengali unmarried women always love to be a part of this festival. “Sindur Khela” is a symbol of the power of women-hood in protecting her family from all evils. On this day, after devi baran they all pray for long and happy life with their family. Followed by Hindu Puranas and veda, this is a very powerful festival for everyone. On Vijayadashami, every women break their barricades and make a universal bond with each other. Married-unmarried women, widowed, transgender individuals or women in prostitution, everyone participates this festival with joy and show their love and respect for each other. Bengali’s Sindur Khela always remind us the power of the women.

Article by Priya Das