Another much-awaited event has fallen prey to the pandemic. This year, Mumbai’s famous Bandra Fair is cancelled for the first time in 125 years! By Bayar Jain
According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, the annual Bandra Fair in Mumbai is forced into cancellation due to the ongoing pandemic. This fair, held at the 350-year-old Mount Mary basilica of the city, is organised every year in September to celebrate the birth of Mother Mary. Ordinarily, this week-long fair invites lakhs of people to the church’s H-west ward. Speaking about the same, Bishop John Rodrigues is reported to have said that the fair — although barred from being organised by civic authorities — will take the digital route this year. The traditional mass, he says in the report, will be broadcast online for devotees.
However, the report also suggests that all may not be lost in wain. BJP MLA from Bandra West, Ashish Shelar reportedly says that the basilica is free to adapt to the evolving crises and organise a small-scale fair if the situation improves closer to September. Currently, the religious building has been closed for the public since March 25, that is since the nationwide lockdown was first set into motion.
Notably, this isn’t the first time the famous fair has been cancelled. As per The Times Of India, the Bandra Fair did not take place in 1895 due to the devastating Bombay Plague. That year, all festivities and celebrations (including Ganesh Chaturthi) were not celebrated.
Earlier, during the month-long fasting festival of Ramadan, Mumbai’s iconic Mohammed Ali Road was also closed for the first time in 250 years due to the pandemic. The iconic Lalbaugcha Raja, too, has seen a similar fate this year where the idols will be replaced with blood and plasma donation camps instead.