Madhya Pradesh is located in the heart of the Indian subcontinent and is well-known place for its cultural heritage. For detailed information on Madhya Pradesh festivals, continue reading this article to know more about Madhya Pradesh festivals. This state is said to have one of the highest tribal population and has several beliefs and traditions which are strongly based and reflected in the form of their festivals. Being an urban as well as tribal concrete agglomeration, the religion-ethnicity tolerant state celebrates a wide range of festivals including New Year and Christmas. The festivals of this state are known for the splendid riot of colors and it is very difficult for one to resist the charm of the festivities held here.

Culture and Festivals of Madhya Pradesh:

1. Pachmarhi Festival:

This is one of the famous festivals in Madhya Pradesh. The celebrations go on for about 6 days. The festival starts around December 25th and ends around New Year. It showcases the folk arts of the country and artisans sell their products to preserve the rich cultural heritage. Several craft fairs and exhibitions are hosted during this time. The major and famous attraction is the Shivratrimela experienced around this time. This is dedicated to Lord Shiva and several lakhs of devotees flock to the holy shrine of Lord Shiva in the Satpura range. The Mahadeo temple is crowded with such devotees who worship offering their prayers.

  • Significance: Reflecting the belief on Lord Shiva and Parvathi, people worship at the temple and offer their prayers.
  • Key Attractions: Prayers and offerings with grandeur to Lord Shiva. Further, exhibitions and fairs also take place and provide much entertainment.
  • Where is it Celebrated: This festival is celebrated in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
  • Date of the Festival: Generally begins at last week of December and goes on till the first of January or so.

[See Also: Famous Temples in Madhya Pradesh]

2. Khajuraho Dance Festival:

Khajuraho dance festival is another important festival of Madhya Pradesh.It is organized by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad. The Khajuraho Dance festival is a full seven-day dance festival. This is among the most important cultural events where all the locals, tourists, and even celebrities flock to and experience the grand performance of some of the renowned cultural talent. This 29-year-old celebration is held infront of the floodlit temples of the western groups in Khajuraho which provides a platform to all the local people with dances like Odissi , Kuchipudi , Kathakali, etc.

  • Significance: Dances performed are dedicated to the Sun God in front of Chitra Gupta temple and Lord Siva temples.
  • Key attractions: Dances and art forms are celebrated here against the backdrop of temples. This festival is a treat for the eyes and once in a lifetime experience.
  • When is it Celebrated: Around February or March
  • Where is it Celebrated: In UNESCO site of Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
  • Date of the Festival: 20-26 February of 2019; 2020 dates not announced

3. Chetiyagiri Vihara Festival:

The Chetiyagiri Vihara festival is celebrated with much grandeur in the state. This is during the late months of the year around November. The Chetiyagiri Vihara festival is held in Sanchi, it is a one-day celebration related to the Buddhist principles and norms. As thousands of Buddhist monks and saints flock to Sanchi to attend this festival, the relics of Buddha’s two disciples are worshiped and viewed here. This auspicious day is related entirely to these relics.

  • Significance: Worshipping and believing the value systems given by Lord Buddha. Buddhist monks come to Sanchi to participate in this festival.
  • Key Attractions: The viewing of the relics belonging to the two initial disciples of Buddha.
  • When is it Celebrated: Around November or December every year
  • Where is it Celebrated: Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
  • Date of the Festival: 26th November.

[See Also: Must Visit Sanctuaries and National Parks in Madhya Pradesh]

4. Tansen Music Festival:

Tansen music festival is well known in the Indian subcontinent due to the participation of renowned musicians and singers from all over the country contributing to this event. Thisgoes back to the days of Akbar when Tansen was one of the nine jewels in Akbar’s court. Tansen was buried in Gwalior and hence this is the reason why this festival which is a cultural musical event takes place in Gwalior, MP. This is organized by the Department of Culture of Madhya Pradesh State government.

  • Significance: Celebrating the music and poetry of Akbar’s Navaratna, Tansen.
  • Key Attractions: Musicians from all around the country come to this event. This event provides the opportunity to hear some of the best known voices in the country and makes it worthwhile to attend this festival.
  • When is it Celebrated: Four-day festival in December of every year
  • Where is it Celebrated: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
  • Date of the Festival: Dates not yet announced.

5. Dusshera:

This is another main festival of Madhya Pradesh. This state celebrates Dusshera in a grand manner. This festival is celebrated for 10 days. It is related to the mythological story of Lord Rama who was exiledand the festival celebrates his return. It is because of this that during Dusshera an effigy is made of King Ravana and set on fire symbolizing the victory of good and the destruction of evil.

  • Significance: Celebrating the victory of Lord Rama returning from exile and killing Ravana, the king of Lanka.
  • Key Attractions: Effigy of Ravana being set on fire to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
  • When is it Celebrated: October every year
  • Where is it Celebrated: All over Madhya Pradesh
  • Date of the Festival: Depends on every year, 8th October 2019

Thus these are some of the important festivals celebrated in Madhya Pradesh. What makes these festivals unique and special is that they have a significant mythological story behind them and amidst the beliefs and cultural values of the people they are celebrated with pomp and grandeur. A lot of importance is given to the celebration of these festivals where age old customs are followed and carried on with full fervor. Madhya Pradesh is not only referred to as the heart of India, but they are also a State who hosts the best heritage and cultural fairs. All these fairs interweave different religions together and cast a charm that none can resist!

[See Also: Romantic Places in Madhya Pradesh]

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:

1. Is there a harvest festival in Madhya Pradesh?

Hareli is an important harvest festival of Madhya Pradesh. The Gond tribe celebrates this festival. On this day they worship farm equipment and cows and prayers are offered for better crops. This festival is celebrated in the month of July-August.

2. What are dishes made during festivals in Madhya Pradesh?

Generally, food items like Poha, DaalBafla, PalakPuri and Malpua are served on special occasions like festivals. The last two are desserts which are well appreciated by many visitors to the State and are special dishes during celebrations.

3. Which language is spoken widely in Madhya Pradesh?

Generally, Hindi is the official language and is widely spoken throughout the state. However, there are various dialects like Awadhi, Bagheli which are spoken in other areas of the state like Eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh.


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