Thursday, 8 September 2011

Introduction to the "Nativity Day" or "Monthi/ Monti Fest"

The Nativity of Our Lady (in Konkani- Monthi Fest) celebrates not only the birthday of the mother of Jesus Christ, but also venerates Our Lady with a recitation of prayers, devotions and blessings. She was a woman of incomparable purity and she received the most precious graces God ever gave a human being. Her birth represents the entrance into the world of a new grace, a new blessing, and the end of the age of darkness.

 The "Monthi Fest" has tremendous significance to the Mangalorean  community residing in Southern parts of India, as it celebrates not only the Birthday of the the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, but also the "New harvest/ Harvest Festival"

Traditionally, fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers, mostly grown on one's land, were offered first in church before being used to prepare the 'Novein Jovaan' or Festive Meal for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

An assortment of odd numbered vegetable dishes (5,7,9,11) are usually made and served in banana leaves. Before sitting down for the meal the entire family would gather for prayers to thank God for a good harvest and seek His continued blessings on the family members for the coming year . This is  followed by sharing of  the 'Novein' which is  a drink made by mixing together church blessed and pounded "new paddy" with milk. where Kernels of rice from the new crop are blessed and prayed over in gratitude for a successful yield. Fruits, vegetables and flowers are offered first in church. At home a few rice kernels are ground, mixed with milk, and shared amongst all the members of the household, in order of their seniority. An assortment of odd numbered vegetable dishes are prepared and served.

For Recipes of dishes prepared for the Nativity Day/ Monthe Fest click on this link


Ulka said...

Very good and Informative for people like me. Where do you get so much time to do all this Carol with a baby in the house. Need some tips... I am losing the will to do anything and got lazy sitting next to Mahi..

Carol Pereira said...

hehe I wish I had the time ulka.......I could do so much more!!

Unknown said...

Very informative !!
Also, could you please enlighten me with why is it odd numbers?