Udupi, (The Hindu): The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Monti Fest, was celebrated with devotion and fervour in Udupi district on Friday.
According to a statement issued by the Udupi Catholic Diocese here, 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’.
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. Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Catholic Diocese, participated in the feast ceremony at Mother of Sorrows Church here and blessed the new paddy and concelebrated the holy Eucharistic mass along with Fr. Valerian Mendonca, parish priest of the church.
In Sasthan, Fr. John Walter Mendonca, parish priest of St Antony’s Church, blessed the new paddy and concelebrated the holy Eucharistic mass.
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 thanksgiving to the Lord.
Traditionally, the feast is celebrated as a family feast with a ceremonial lunch in which only vegetables find a place in the day’s menu.
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