Community Life

Matrimandir in the Mist: Auroville’s Birthday 2021

The 28th of February 2021 marked 53 years since Auroville was officially inaugurated. On the same day, the Matrimandir celebrated 50 years since its foundation stone was laid. Both these events culminated in a bonfire that was like no other. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s birthday bonfire was not open to the public, but only to Aurovilians, Newcomers, Volunteers, and registered Guests. It was a much smaller gathering than usual, which gave a sense of intimacy which has been hard to create in the past few years.

The weather also decided to change things up. Unexpected showers started a week before, when we experienced a huge amount of rain on the morning of the Mother’s Birthday (21st February). On the 28th morning, a light shower pattered over Auroville, but the Bonfire continued. This resulted in a morning so misty that even the Matrimandir was invisible to the eyes. Take a look at the lovely pictures documenting this auspicious day. 

For those who have not yet attended the Auroville Bonfire in February, the celebration begins at 5:00 am. Aurovilians gather for a silent meditation. As the bonfire is lit, the Auroville Charter is read in the four official languages of Auroville: English, Tamil, French and Sanskrit. We then hear a recording of The Mother speaking. As daylight breaks, people start moving, turning their thoughts to breakfast or looking for familiar faces in the crowd. For this particular Bonfire, everyone remained seated until the sun had risen through the foggy mist, a longer time than usual. Lightness filled the air as people greeted each other with a « Bonne fete! » or « Happy Birthday! » .

All pictures © Outreach Media, Auroville

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