Mumbai's Koli community celebrates 'Nariyal Poonima'

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Mumbai, Feb. 28 (ANI): Mumbai's fishermen community - known as Kolis - are celebrating the annual festival of 'Nariyal Poonima', marking the beginning of the fishing season.

During the festival, fishermen made an offering to Lord Varuna (the god of sea) so that they can net bountiful fish from the sea.

The significance of Nariyal Poornima heralds resumption of fishing activities after a break during the monsoon. Venturing into the high seas is prohibited during the monsoon season.

Members of Koli community celebrated the Nariyal Poornima by breaking and offering coconuts to lord Varuna. Later, the juicy kernel pieces of the coconut were distributed among the people.

"During this festival many fishes enter into the sea. Hence we perform rituals for the sea at every shore. We pray so that we can catch more fish. This festival has great significance for us. We pray to the Mother Goddess so that she gives us peace and prosperity," said Yeshwant Katkar, a resident of Mumbai.

Dances and spraying of colours marked the festive occasion as the fishermen lit a bonfire.

The celebrations continue for three days leading to Holi.

"I have been in Mumbai for the last four months and some of friends told me about colour festival. So, I myself am a photographer and hence was attracted to this place. The people have great energy, great music and dancing is going on. I am enjoying it," said Kuini Takshi, a Japanese tourist.

The Kolis mark the auspicious festival by painting and decorating their boats and trawlers with colourful flags. (ANI)

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