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Festivals of Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho Festival of Dance (February/March)
One of the most popular cultural events in India, Khajuraho Festival of Dance is a memorable affair that is held over a week (February and March) and is watched by locals, tourists and celebrities alike. A showcase for the diverse Indian classical dances, the festival 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 as an offering to the temple gods.
Tansen Music Festival, Gwalior (November/December)
If you want to catch hold of different and intriguing sounds, styles and instruments, the best place is the Tansen Music Festival in Madhya Pradesh. The music festival is held in November/December and is attended by India's best vocalists and musicians whether from the classical, folk or fusion genre. You can get a glimpse of the show at the performance delivered for free at the Tansen Tomb to commemorate his artistic achievements.
Shivratri Mela, Pachmarhi (February)
Though celebrated throughout India, Shivratri Mela at Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, is a unique experience. Held in February or March, depending on whether the last day of phagun falls in which month, 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 that the devotees bring along and plant them on Chauragarh Hill that is nearby.
Navratri Festival, Ujjain (September/October)
Ujjain and its temples come alive during the festival season of Navratri (Dusshera) that usually falls in the month of September or October. Another famous festival of Ujjain in central India is the Kumbh Mela that is held once every 12 years. Millions then flock to Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh to take a dip in the holy waters of Shipra River.
Chethiyagiri Vihara Festival, Sanchi (November)
A Buddhist festival held at Sanchi at the end of November, Chethiyagiri Vihara Festival is attended by thousands of Buddhists monks and pilgrims. They attend the festival to view the relics of Buddha's two initial disciples whose remains were discovered in Stupa 3 (as listed at Sanchi) in 1853. The two disciples, whose relics are the center of this festival, were Sari Puttha and Maha Moggallana.
Madai (February)
Madai festival is one of the most colourful tribal festival of Madhya Pradesh. The Madai festival of Madhya Pradesh is held in various villages in line from Mandla to Bastar. The Madai festival is one of its kind festival to be celebrated in Bastar. The Madai festival of Madhya Pradesh is held every year in the third or fourth week of February.
Dussehra/Vijay Dashmi (September/October)
Dussehra/Vijay Dashmi in Madhya Pradesh is the first big festival in the festival calendar of North India, and one of the most important Fairs and Festivals in Madhya Pradesh. This festival falls on the 10th day of the waning moon during the Hindu month of Ashvin (around September/October). A fascinating collection of mythological legends and folklore are embroidered around Dussehra. It is believed that on this day, Rama, the hero of the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, killed the unrighteous demon Ravana, the 10-headed king of Lanka who had abducted Rama’s wife, Sita.
Diwali (October/November)
Diwali is also referred to as Deepawali which means an Array of Lamps. Diwali is one of the most important festivals celebrated in India. Diwali in Madhya Pradesh is celebrated with great excitement and enthusiasm on the third day of Diwali. The day is devoted to the goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi. This Diwali day falls on the amavasya or the no moon day. Diwali date comes 20 days after the popular festival of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi.
Bahgoriya (March)
Bhagoria Haat is the colorful festival of the Bhils and the Bhilalas. This festival is held particularly in the district of West Nimar and Jhabua and the ‘haat’ is held actually in the nature of a mass ‘Svayamvara’ or a marriage market.
The Fair of Nagaji (November/December)
The Fair of Nagaji is a fair or ‘mela’ which is organized in order to remember and pay respect to Saint Nagaji who lived at the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar, about 400 years ago.
Nimar Utsav (November)
Nimar Utsav is an annual event that is held at Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh. It is a three day event that is a comprehensive feast of music, dance, drama, boating and canoeing. It is organized by the state government of Madhya Pradesh and is celebrated on the banks of the holy river Narmada. The time of celebration for this three day cultural extravaganza is around the month of November. Specifically it is held on the eve of Kartik Purnima.
Ameer Khan Festival
Ameer Khan Festival, Indore, India is the perfect venue to savor Indian classical music performances by many stalwarts. This venue also offers an ideal stage for the debut of many musicians. Music enthusiasts from across the globe come to Indore enticed by this Ameer Khan Festival of Indore.
Dhrupad Samaroh (September)
Dhrupad Samaroh Bhopal, India is the ideal venue to relish vocal performances by some of the notable names of the music fraternity. Indian classical music's famous dhrupad style is the order of the day at this Bhopal Dhrupad Samaroh. Music aficionados from across the world come to the city lured by this Dhrupad Samaroh of Bhopal.
Malwa Utsava Ujjain and Indore
Music and Dance being an integral part of India are often celebrated as part of custom and culture. The Fairs and Festivals in India are the best pedestal for getting together in unison. Owing their origin to Natya Shastra, composed by Baratha between 2 B.C. and 2 A.D., dances are an integral part of the ancient Vedas; the fifth Veda actually clarifies dance style and forms. Numerous classical dances are performed at Malwa Utsava in Ujjain and Indore. According to the legend, the supreme creator of this Universe created Natya by amalgamating four diverse components collected exclusively from the four Vedas. They are literature from the Rig Veda, songs from the Sama Veda, abhinaya or expression from the Yajur Veda and rasa or aesthetic experience from the Artharva Veda.
Shab-i-Barat is essentially a Shia festival and owing to the considerable number of the same in Madhya Pradesh, Shab-I-Barat in Madhya Pradesh India is one of the widely celebrated Fairs and Festivals in Madhya Pradesh. Shab-I-Barat celebration in Madhya Pradesh as elsewhere is celebrated with a grand evening feast. Sweets, specially, sevvaiyan (vermicelli) are prepared and sent to the houses of friends and relatives. Vermicelli chapattis, jaggery, halwa, meat, biriyani are the commonly prepared dishes. Fatiha or blessings are recited over food in the name of the Prophet, his daughter Fatimah, and his son-in-law Ali. The Holy Koran is recited and at night, fireworks light the sky.
Krishna Janamashtmi (September)
Krishna Janamashtmi or the birth of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu on earth, is observed on the eighth day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. The Hindu calendar is lunar, (Krishna-paksha Ashtami) and the Rohini Nakshatram may overlap for only a few hours. In such an occasion it is celebrated on different (but successive) days by different people, depending on their local or family traditions. Krishna Janamashtmi in Madhya Pradesh is most popular festival.
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