Saturday, August 18, 2018
Madhya Pradesh

Fairs and Festivals


Madhya Pradesh has a list of innumerable fairs and festivals including all the common major occasions.

Existing rituals and collective behaviour have cast their impressions by diffusing certain practices with traditions.        

Fairs

The popular fairs occur mostly in the months of Phalguna, Chaitra, Bhadra, Asvina and Kartika. During Phalguna many fairs coincide with the Holi and Shivaratri. The Tansen Urs also falls at Gwalior during this season. Sankranti Melas are held at various places. Melas held around Basant Panchami are also important. Baldeviji Ka Mela(Panna), Rajim Mela and the fairs held in Bilaspur district are worth notice.

Madai fair

In the tribal villages of Bastar the Madai fairs record their social consideration as of vital importance to all the ethnic groups of the area. The Madai fairs of Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Dantewara and Dhanara, falls within February, March and April every year.

Chaitra fair

In the Chaitra fair held at Biaora (Malwa), the Dhup Dehi ka Mela of Hirapur (Rewa Division), the Ram Navami fair of Naya Gaon, the Bhilat Baba ka Mela of Seoni and the Gal Yatras held at over two dozen villages of Malwa are worth mention.

Tejaji fair

A good number of fairs are held in the 10th day of the month of Bhadra, to mark the birth of Tejaji. Many tales are current about this legendary figure. In Tejaji's fairs rituals are made to cure snake-bite. In Guna district at Bhamavad village there is a platform on which a statue of Tejaji on his horse is installed. Every year during the fair many persons come with pieces of cloth round their necks. This they untie near the platform and as soon as they untie it, they become unconscious only to regain it after water and milk are sprinkled on their faces. Similar rituals are witnessed in the fairs held at Sagar village of the same area and at Rawati of Ratlam district.

In the months of Asadha and Bhadra, at Deotalab (Rewa) the Somnath Sankarji ka Mela and Tejaji fair draw thousands of people. The Triveni ka Mela held at Ratlam and the Singaji Jatra held at Piplya vilage of Nimad encourage the people to attend fairs occurring in Kartika at Ujjain, Mandhata (Nimad), Naya Gaon and many other places. The Kumbha Mela is held after every twelve years at Ujjain.

Lachhandas Baba's fair (Laljit ka Pura-Morena) or the fairs of Hira Bhumia (Gird-Gwalior), Shah  Peer Budhan (Sanwarw-Shivapuri district), Abda Peer (Bamhori-Rewa), Chaumukh Nath (Panna), Baba Shabuddin Saheb Oulia (Mandsaur district), Kaluji Maharaj (Piptya Khurd-West Nimad) and Singaji (Rajpur Tehsil-Nimad), Khalari (Mahasamund-Raipur) etc, carry a number of anecdotes about their beginning. Bhilat Baba ka Mela (Malapur and Seoni Malwa-Hoshangabad), Garibnath Baba ka Mela (Awantipur Barodia-Shajapur district) and Kana Baba ka Mela (Harda Tehsil) have many legends behind them. Ramlila Mela of Bhander is one of the oldest fair supposed to be over a century old. The Bhaya Sokar  Devi fair of Rewa, the Unao or Baramju fair of Datia are also old fairs. The Somhar Dev Baba ka Mela of Goradiya village (West Nimad) is held in the honour of Somhar Dev whose glory is recited in a narrative called Pathwad.

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