While the traditional religious festivals of the Hindus, Muslims and other communities are celebrated in Madhya Pradesh as enthusiastically as in the rest of India, it is the tribal fairs and festivals of Madhya Pradesh, which are a celebration of the ethnic life-styles of the colourful tribes of the land. The tribal festivals in Jhabua are marked by carefree revelry, drinking bouts and exotic entertainment like cock-fighting, uninhibited dancing, etc. The casual visitor often fails to appreciate adequately the genuine and strong tradition of democracy in tribal society, the harmonious living with nature, the respected status accorded to women, the amicable sharing of the community resources.
Bhagoria Haat, Jhabua
This colourful festival of the Bhils and Bhilalas, particularly in the district of West Nimar and Jhabua, is actually in the nature of 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, (bhag, to run), after choosing their partners, the young people elope and are subsequently accepted as husband and wife by society through predetermined customs. It is not always that boys and girls intending to marry each other meet in the festival for the first time. In a large number of cases the alliance is already made between the two, the festival providing the institutionalised framework for announcing the alliance publically. The tradition is that the boy applies gulal, red powder, on the face of the girl whom he selects as his wife. The girl, if willing, also applies gulal on the boy's face. This may not happen immediately but the boy may pursue her and succeed eventually.
Khajuraho Festival of Dances
Every ancient monument has a fascinating story to tell. But few match the mystery wrapped around the temples of Khajuraho in central India.Once the capital of the great Chandela Kings, Khajuraho today is a quiet village of a few thousand people .It is also the setting of the Khajuraho Festival of Dances which draws the best classical dancers in the country every year, who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples.With international status under the Government of India programme categories, this seven-day extravaganza is a unique treat for connoisseurs from all over the world.
The Khajuraho Festival of Dances draws the best classical dancers in the country who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples every year in February/March.
The past and the present silhouetted against the glow of a setting sun becomes an exquisite backdrop for the performers in a setting where the earthly and the divine create perfect harmony - an event that celebrates the pure magic of the rich classical dance traditions of India. As dusk falls, the temples are lit up in a soft, dream-like ethereal stage.The finest exponents of different classical Indian styles are represented - Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, and many more.
Tansen Music Festival, Gwalior
Madhya Pradesh occupies a special position in the history of Indian music. The Gwalior gharana is among the most prominent arbiters of the classical style. Raja Man Singh’s patronage of Dhrupad singers is well known.
A pillar of Hindustani classical music, the great Tansen, one of the 'nine jewels' of Akbar's court, lies buried in Gwalior. The memorial to this great musician has a pristine simplicity, and is built in the early Mughal architectural style. More than a monument, the Tansen Tomb is a part of Galion’s living cultural heritage. It is the venue of the annual Indian classical festival held here in November-December. Renowned classical singers of the land regale audiences through five mesmerizing night-long sessions of the much-loved classical ragas.
List of the Fairs & Festivals
• Lokrang, Bhopal (Held in January)
• Alauddin Khan Samaroh, Maihar (Held in February)
• Khajuraho Dance Festival (Held in February)
• Kumar Gandharva Samaroh, Dewas (Held in April)
• Bundalkhand Utsav (Held in December)
• Sanchi Utsav (Held in November
• Sharadoutsav Bhedaghat (Held in October)
• Mandu Utsav (Held in October)
• Pachmarhi Utsav, Pachmarhi (Held in October)