Image source: Vedic Flok
Vijaya Dashmi is one of the most significant Hindu Festivals that is celebrated on the 10th day of Navratri. This festival is also popular as Bijoya Dashami or Dussera in many parts of India. Among various rituals performed during Vijaya Dhasami, one of the most significant rituals is Sindur Khela. This ceremony is performed in Bengal, on the last day of Durga Puja. Bengali married women take part in this festival and enjoy the day a lot. Bengali women mark sindoor or vermillion on the forehead and the feet of the Goddess. After that, sweet is offered to Maa Durga. Then the married Bengali women smudge each other with sindur, and this act is called sindur khela. Based on mythological stories, this ritual will bring good luck to them, and Devi Durga will bless their husbands with a long life.
On this, special day, women dress up in white saree with a red border. Every woman performs arati at first and then smears the forehead and feet of the Goddess with Sindur. The sweets and betel leaves are offered to Maa Durga. After worshiping Devi Durga, the women start smudging each other wish Sindur and then offer sweets to each other. It is believed that Sindur Khela is the representation of women's power for the well-being of her family. These days modern women do not restrict to wearing only red and white saree. You will find Bengali woman in different colors saree to brighten up the festive mood sindur khela.
The origin of this custom or the proper date and place of the derivation of this ritual is not known. It is believed that this ritual started nearly 200 years ago. The married women of renowned Zamindar houses started this ceremony. As per another story, Sindur Khela is as old as Durga Puja that is nearly 400 years.
With Sindur Khela ends the celebration of Durga Puja In Bengal and the Devi idol with her family taken for bisarjan.