Sindur Khela, A Fun Ritual for Women

One final ritual that is carried out before immersion is the Sindur Khela, meaning the playful ritual by women applying vermilion on each other.

Sindur Khela for Married Women

This festival is exclusively for women, specifically for married women. (Hindu widows don’t put sindur on their forehead.) Sindur (vermilion) on forehead indicates the marital status of women. Women dedicate sindoor on Goddess Durga’s feet first. Then they apply sindur on the parting of hair on Goddess’s forehead and her bangles; wipe her cheeks with betel leaves as if wiping away her tears of sorrow because she is leaving her father’s abode. Finally putting sweets in her mouth and bidding her goodbye.

I too did this ritual of Sindur Khela this year too, like I have been doing in the past years. Standing so close to Goddess, feeling Her face so close, stuffing sweets in to Her mouth, the mention of these memories here is giving me goose bumps. After this we women apply vermilion on eachothers’ forehead and bangles wishing long life for our husbands and exchange sweets. This ritual extends to playfully applying sindur on the cheeks too.

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