It is time to bid farewell to Maa Durga. The five-day festival ends with Dashami celebration, which this year falls on October 25 and October 26. Durga Puja festival of devotion, fun and pandal-hopping also includes many traditional rituals and practises, strictly followed by Bengalis across the world. One of the most significant rituals is Sindoor Khela, also spelt as Sindur Khela, where married Bengali Hindu women smear sindoor (vermillion), on each other’s forehead and faces. Sindoor Khela 2020 is on October 26. There are many traditions and rituals associated with Sindoor Khela, observed on Bijoya Dashami, before we bid farewell to Maa Durga. In this article, we will know more about Sindoor Khela, and its significance.

Sindoor Khela 2020 Date

Sindoor Khela happens on the last day of Durga Puja festivity, Dashami, right before the goddess is taken away from the immersion. Every year, the date differs depending on the Hindu calendar. Sindoor Khela 2020 is on October 26.

Sindoor Khela: History and Significance

The exact date and place of origin of the tradition of Sindoor Khela during Durga Puja are not known. However, one theory suggests that the tradition originated around 200 years ago in the Durga Pujas of the zamindar houses to usher bonhomie among the housewives. Again, another theory opines that the tradition of Sindur Khela is as old as the celebration of Durga Puja itself, around 400 years.

Sindur Khela is regarded as one of the most important rituals of Vijayadashami. It is followed by Devi Baran, where the married women bid farewell to the goddess. The women are dressed in white saris with red borders and adorn traditional jewellery. They smear goddess’ forehead and feat with sindur, offer her sweets and betel leaves, before smearing each other’s faces and foreheads with sindoor. They also put sindur on each other’s shankha, pala and noa (bangles), which are worn by married Bengali Hindu women.

Sindoor Khela symbolises the power of womanhood in protecting her husband and children from all evil. Unmarried women and widows are barred from participating in the ritual. However, a recent campaign by the Calcutta Times has revived the practice of just women—be it married, widowed, transgender individuals or women of the red-light area, to play with Sindoor and show this as a universal bonding among women. Because of the pandemic, the celebration of Sindoor Khela 2020 will be limited, keeping the COVID-19 protocols in mind.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 25, 2020 04:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website