A Travellerspoint blog

March 2006

Colourful Traditions - Bhagoria Haat- Jhabua -Central India

sunny 23 °C

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.

Earlier, the Bhagoria haat was also the place for settling old disputes; open invitations were sent to enemies for a fight in the haat. Bloody battles used to be quite common in the past but today police and administration do not allow people to go to the haat armed.

The Bhagoria haat also coincides with the completion of harvesting, adding to it the dimension of being an agricultural festival as well. If the crops have been good, the festival assumes an additional air of gaiety.

In the life of the Bhils and Bhilalas, Bhagoria is not merely one festival but in fact a series of fairs held one by one at various villages on their specific market days, commencing eight days before Holi.

Posted by rsnamli 23:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Colourful Traditions - Gangaour Fair - Jaipur - Rajasthan

sunny 21 °C

Travel to Rajasthan and discover a whole new way to celebrate life as you take part in the proceedings of the Gangaur festival that is accompanied by a grand Gangaur Fair that is the focal point of all celebrations. The Gangaur festival is dedicated to goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and is observed all throughout Rajasthan

During this festival, young girls dress up in all their finery and observe rituals for a husband of their choice while the married women pray for the well being of their husbands. The people take out a colorful procession in honor of Parvati, complete with horses, elephants, camels, palanquin bearers and musicians. Dancing and singing becomes the order of the day and the festivities carry on late into the evening. In fact the beautifully dressed women and their varied rituals infuse such a lively spirit and warmth into the Gangaur Fair that every single visitor is left enthralled.

Another interesting aspect of the Gangaur Festival is that the tribal men and women take it as a good opportunity to interact with each other and marry by eloping. If you want to be a part of this colorful event next year, make sure that you are in Jaipur between 21st and 23rd of March (2007). Rest assured, it is going to be one of the best experiences of your life.

Posted by rsnamli 23:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Colourful Traditions - Mewar Festival - Rajasthan

sunny 20 °C

The Mewar Festival is celebrated with much splendor to mark the beginning of the spring season. Held in the honor of Goddess Parvati, the Mewar Festival is a major crowd puller. Travel to Udaipur where you will see women dressed in their finest sarees and laden with jewellery, carrying idols of Isar and Gangaur that are later immersed in the beautiful tranquil waters of Lake Pichola.

Even though the Mewar festival has religious overtones, merriment and celebration are not left far behind. Once the religious rituals are over, music and dancing become the order of the day. You can enjoy a host of cultural programmes and shows that are sure to enthrall you with their liveliness and color. The grand celebration culminates in an excellent display of fireworks that light up the entire sky. It is a sight that would remain embedded in your consciousness for a long time.

If you want to be a part of this beautiful celebration of life, don't forget to visit Udaipur during the next edition of the Mewar festival that is going to be held on the 16th March 2007.

Posted by rsnamli 23:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Colourful Traditions - Elephant Festival - Rajasthan

sunny 25 °C

Come home to Rajasthan and witness the exotic flavor of the region whose culture is as unique as it is distinct. Adding a little razzmatazz to the daily life of the people are the exotic fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. The Elephant Festival is one such event, which draws hordes of crowds that is healthy mixture of locals and tourists to Jaipur, where this joyous festival is held, just days before Holi.

On the day of the Elephant Festival every road in Jaipur seems to lead to the famous Polo Ground. The festival is flagged off by a huge procession of elaborately decorated elephants, camels and horses followed by a band of folk performers. Music, dancing and color becomes the order of the day with multitudes of people descending upon the venue of the most awaited festival in Jaipur Going by Rajasthan's long-standing association with elephants, the gentle beast leads the proceedings of the festival with aplomb. It is by far the most important guest of the festival. Visitors at the Elephant Festival are treated to a rare elephant beauty pageant, which is one of the favorite attractions of the fair. Add to it colorful dance performances, races and tug of wars. But the polo match played by colorfully dressed men on elephants is by far the most important attraction of the Elephant Festival. Also, you may just get a chance to enjoy an elephant ride in Rajasthan

The Elephant Festival of Jaipur has enthralled many so far. If you also want to be a part of this exciting event next year, make sure that you are in Rajasthan on the 3rd of March (2007) and be a part of an event that is sure to change your conventional way of looking at fun and relaxation.

Posted by rsnamli 00:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

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