The fairs and festivals celebrated here is not restricted to any particular community or group, it is celebrated by all the communities. Some of the popular temple festivals of Madhya Pradesh are as follows:
Madai Festival: Madai Festival is the one of the unique Madhya Pradesh Temple Festivals, held in the different villages extending from Mandla to Bastar. It is especially dear to the Gonds who come from far off places to meet their relatives and to obtain a year's supply of items like salt and cooking oil. Madai festival in Narayanpur of Bastar is the most popular one. Held in the third or fourth week of February, it is a day of great religious importance. Devotees assemble under the shade of a sacred tree to sacrifice a goat to the mother goddess. Amidst much singing, beating of drums and bells, the goat is slaughtered and then taken round the entire village. The night is spent in rejoicings with folk dances, good food and making merry.
Bhagoriya Festival: Bhagoriya Festival of Madhya Pradesh allows the unmarried people to elope with his or her selected partner officially. Primarily held in the Jhabua district, the Bhagoriya festival simultaneous goes on with the offerings to the tribal God. Holi is a popular festival of Madhya Pradesh; the sacred offerings are done in the temples, while rest of the celebrations are done in open ground. Holi is held a week before the Hindu festival of colours, Holi. Men and women celebrate it with ritual dancing to the beat of drums and thalis and the charming melody of shehnai and bansuri (flutes). Bhagoradev or the god of dance is worshipped on this occasion. The most respected village elder presides over the ceremony and offers sweetmeats to the God. Young men go around and apply gulal (red coloured powder used to play Holi with) to the girls they like. If a girl responds to the sentiment then she too applies gulal in return and that is all the permission a young man needs to marry her. Even the communal exchange of pan or betel leaf is a statement of love. Dussehra of Bastar is a loved Madhya Pradesh Temple Festival, held annually in the months of October and November. The temple celebrations are done in Jagdalpur of Bastar.
Khajuraho Festival of Dance: One of the most well-liked cultural events in India, Khajuraho Festival of Dance is a brilliant event that is held over a week (February and March) and is watched by locals, tourists and celebrities similarly. A showcase for the miscellaneous Indian classical dances, the fiesta attracts the leading performers of Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Bharatnatyam etc. The festival is held before the floodlit temples in the Western Group at Khajuraho where the dancers perform on stage to the temple gods.
Karma Festival: Karma, a religious festival calls for a huge celebration every year among the Korba tribals of Madhya Pradesh. On the day of worship, the devotees fast since morning till the next day, a branch from the Karam tree is planted in the middle of an open ground or temple and the night is spent singing and dancing around it.
The Fair of Nagaji: The fair marks paying respect to Saint Nagaji who lived at the time of Emperor Akbar, nearly 400 years ago. Tribals flock to Porsa village in Murena district every winter and make merry for as long as a month. Earlier monkeys were sold at this fair, but now domestic animals top the charts. Some offerings are also made in temples dedicated to this saint.
(Last Updated on : 02-05-2017)
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