Celebration of Bhagoria Festival
The meaning of Bhagoria simply means elopers. Thus it is a festival in which the lovers are permitted to run far away officially during this period. The essential feature of this Bhagoria festival is the gulal which is applied during the festival of Holi and the betel leaf which plays a main role. According to the tradition of Chhattisgarh, if an eloper applies this gulal on his lover's forehead and if the girl also responds to his approach by applying gulal on him then the lovers are free to run away. The betel leaves are used as sign of proposal. The lovers feed their own lover whom they love. As per the custom, if the lover accepts to eat the betel leaf then it considered that the love between the two is confirmed. Hence they are allowed to spend their whole life together. Once the proposal is conformed the marriage between two lovers is solemnized. The marriage ceremony between the two lovers becomes compulsory once they run away. Once the act of running away is performed, the lovers cannot refuse to get married with each other.
This is one of the rituals of the Bhagoria festival, while there are many traditions and customs that are followed and celebrated by the tribes of Jhabua. During this festival the deity of Bhagordev is duly worshipped by the people of Chhattisgarh.
This festival is the most awaited event for lovers as they can propose to their love and also can seek a willingness of the elders to marry each other. The processes that take place in this festival are supervised by the adults and other respected people of Jhabua village. They mainly act as a witness for the entire sequence where the elopement process and expressing the love session is accepted. Many unmarried and other citizens from near by villages and towns come to be a part of this festival.
During the Bhagoria festival, sweets and prayers are offered to Bhagordev god, while the members of Bhil Tribe exchange the wishes and greetings among themselves. After the commencement of the maha puja sweets are distributed among the entire community members as Prasad. The prayers offered to god are also regarded as part of the celebration which includes dancing on the music of thalis and drumbeats. The music that is followed here is traditional and is played from ancient times. There is joyousness in the atmosphere and notes of shehnaiand bansuri fill the air.
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