Madhya Pradesh is deeply entwined with festivals and fairs. Apart from celebrating all traditional religious festivals of the Hindus, Muslims and other communities, the state also celebrates its unique tribal festival that are celebrated through different colourful tribes with varied ethnic lifestyle. Here listed down some of the major festivals of Madhya Pradesh.
• Khajuraho Festival of Dance – This seven-day gala (February-March) witnesses performances by the best and the most renowned classical dancers in India and is watched by locals, tourists and celebrities alike. A showcase for the diverse Indian classical dances, the festivals attracts the best 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 as an offering to the temple gods. The festival has been granted the status of an international event and attracts tourists and dance lovers from around the world.
• Shivratri Mela – Shivratri Mela at Pachmarhi, is a unique experience. Held in February or March, the festival is attended by lakhs of devotees of Lord Shiva….who rests in a shrine on the Satpura Range. The Mahadeo Temple is decked up with tridents.
• Chethiyagiri Vihara Festival – A Buddhist festival held at Sanchi at the end of November, Chethiyagiri Vihara Festival is attended by thousands of Buddhist monks and pilgrims. They attend the festival to view the relics of Buddha’s two initial disciples, Sari Puttha and Maha Moggallana, whose remains were discovered in Stupa 3.
• Navratri Festival – Ujjain and its temples come alive during the festival season of Navratri (Dusehra) that usually falls in the month of September or October. Another famous festivals festival of Ujjain in central India is the Kumbh Mela that s held every 12 years. Millions then flock to Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh to take a dip in the holy waters of Shipra River.
• Tansen Music Festival – If you want to catch gold of different and intriguing sounds, styles and instruments, the best place is the Tansen Music Festival at Gwalior, held in November/December. It is attended by India’s best vocalists and musicians whether from the classical, folk or fusion genre. The festival is spread over a period of five nights. Classical music legends perform for the huge audience that gathers here from around the world.
• Bhagoriya Festival – The colourful Bhagoriya festival of the Bhills and Bhilalas held in the Jhabua district, is a festival of fun and joy, and is actually a mass svayamvara, a marriage market, usually held on the various market days falling before the Holi festival in March. As the name of the festival indicates, (to run), after choosing their partners, the young people elope and are subsequently accepted as husbands and wife by society through predetermined customs. Young men and women rejoice with ritual dancing to the beat of drums and sweet melody of bansuri (flutes).
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