Sindoor Khela is a tradition followed by all Bengali (married) women. Sindoor Khela marks the end of Durga Puja and is followed every year on the day of Vijayadashami.
The married women put sindoor (vermilion) on Durga Maa’s forehead and feet, and then they apply it on married women (forehead, cheeks and bangles).
Story Behind Sindoor Khela
Once a year, Durga Maa travels to her mother’s home. During five days of her stay at her parent’s home, Durga maa’s favourite foods are cooked. When Maa Durga leaves her mother’s home, a few rituals are followed to bid Durga Maa a proper farewell – Sindoor Khela is one such ritual.
Sindoor also signifies the status of a married woman. It is believed that if this ritual is performed properly then no widowhood can touch a woman, ever.
During Vijaydashmi, the Bengali women prepare, puja thali – betel leaves or paan, sondesh and sindoor. The sindoor is touched at the feet of the devi’s idol, and her forehead. The beetle leaves are offered during the pooja and the sondesh is placed at the idol’s mouth.
Just before the idol immersion (bisharjan), the women take sindoor from the idol and apply it on their forehead.