Like every year, this year too devotees have been thronging to the Mount Mary festival. This year, the eight-day festival’s start coincided with Mother Mary’s birthday on Sunday.
Vice-rector of the Mount Mary Basilica Father Aniceto Pereira said, “As it was Mother Mary’s birthday on Sunday, the crowd was huge.
Collectively, over one-and-a-half lakh people came on Sunday and Monday. With Ganeshotsav starting and Tuesday being a working day, the crowd was less.”
Nonetheless, over 50,000 people of different faiths turned up for the fair on Tuesday. Borivli resident Nishant Jani, 21, who had brought along two friends, said, “I have been coming here since I was in Std X.”
Jani’s unexpectedly good score in Std X exams reaffirmed his faith in the place of worship and has been bringing him and his family to the Basilica year after year. “I scored around 81%, which exceeded my expectations,” he said.
There are several others like Bandra resident Marilyn Thakur who have been coming only because of faith and prayers. Thakur, 59, said, “I have never really had to ask her (Mother Mary) for something because she took care of almost everything on her own.”
Besides giving an opportunity to offer prayers, the eight-day festival also allows devotees to catch up with some music, spiritual books and delicacies, such as pickles, sorpotal and maasal, from the traditional Goan and Konkani cuisine.
Ariston Rajamanickram, a devotee from Kandivli who likes to shop during the festival, is one such person. “Usually, I buy lockets or food items. This year, too, I may go in for same,” he said.