Christians celebrate Monti Fest with devotion and fervor..

Christians celebrate Monti Fest with devotion and fervor in District

Pics by Prasanna Kodavoor, Team Mangalorean

Udupi: The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Monti Fest) was celebrated with devotion and fervor in and around Udupi district on September 8.

For the Konkani-speaking Catholic community living in the coastal districts, September 8 has a special significance as the day is also celebrated as the day of the ‘New Rice’.

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Christians gathered in their respective churches and children offered flowers to mother mary. The Church parish priests blessed the new paddy and took it in a procession inside the church.

Priests concelebrated holy Eucharistic masses and the first harvest paddy was distributed to all attendees of the solemn feast.

After the Feast Mass, people returned home with the blessed new paddy, which will be placed at a decorated altar and later mixed with sweet dishes and consumed with a thanksgiving to the Lord.

Traditionally, the feast was celebrated as a family feast with a ceremonial lunch in which only vegetables find a place in the day’s menu.

Though in earlier times, up to 13 types of vegetable dishes (usually only odd numbers) were prepared, now, most of the families limit it to seven or nine. As an unwritten rule, Catholics avoid meat and alcohol on the day.

This is also an occasion to all the family members to unite at the ceremonial lunch. Every Christian family takes the blessed new paddy home from the church.

The festivities begin nine days in advance and culminate in the feast that marks the birth anniversary of Mother Mary.

Photo Album  – Udupi District

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