UK Konkans Celebrates Nativity 2011 on 10 September 2011
By: Team UK Konkans | Pics: Team UK Konkans
15 September, 2011: 8th September is an important date in every Mangalorean Catholic’s Calendar. Ask any Mangalorean born and brought up in Mangalore about the importance of this date, the reply would be ‘it is Mother’s Birthday’ commonly known as ‘Monti Fest’ or Nativity Feast. Interestingly, the Church calendar observes only three birthdays - Christmas, birth of St John the Baptist and the birth of Blessed Virgin Mary.



The celebration of The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was started sometime in the sixth century, when St. Romanos the Melodist, an Eastern Christian who composed many of the hymns used in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies, composed a hymn for the feast. The feast spread to Rome in the seventh century, but it was a couple more centuries before it was celebrated throughout the West. It is said that Portuguese during their rule in Goa celebrated Nativity Feast which was carried to coastal district of South Kanara during prosecution of Christian in the hands of Maratha rulers.

Mangaloreans celebrate three feasts on the particular day. Besides, Birthday of Mother Mary, this day is also celebrated as Harvest Festival. Farmers bring the new corn to the church to be blessed by the priest. Blessed corn is distributed during the mass and people take this corn to their homes and drink it with the milk.

Children celebrate this feast with much devotion.. In preparation for the Nativity Feast, nine days Novena is held in almost every church of undivided Dakshina Kannada. Children bring basket full of flowers to be offered to Mother Mary during the Novena which are normally held in the mornings. On the ninth day, a grand is mass held and children are treated with sweets, mostly sugar canes after the mass.

This day is also celebrated as Family Festival. For a change, no meat or Alcohol is served on this day. Instead people cook various vegetables (sometimes up to 13 to 15 varieties) and all family members sit together and share the special meal.
Over the years, with the migration of Mangalorean Catholics to the different parts of globe, this ritual also became part of their annual ritual. Migrants encourage their children to follow this tradition.

This year, UK Konkans members celebrated the Nativity Feast on Saturday, 10th September at St Chad’s Church Croydon.



Before the mass, Children gathered around Mother Mary’s Grotto. While elders sang the hymn ‘Sokkod Sangatha Melyan, Moriek Hogolsian, children offered flower.





Father Manoj D’Souza (SJ) blessed the new corn and celebrated the mass. The Choir led by Eric and Tom sang beautiful Hymns. Elton and Eroy played keyboard and guitar.





After the mass, members joined in Church Hall and shared the milk mixed with new corn. Homemade vegetarian meal was served and there was a true feeling of ‘Family Festival’.

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You've impresesd us all with that posting! on 16 January 2012 08:22:40 GMT

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UK Konkans Celebrates Nativity 2011 on 10 September 2011

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