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Bhagoria Mela (Haat Festival) 2025 in India

That very moment when the children themselves decide whom to marry

Dates: February–March

Bhagoria Mela, or Bhagoria Haat Festival, is a colorful celebration, usually considered as a marriage market held by the tribes of the Bhils and the Bhilalas in Khargone and Jhabua districts of Madhya Pradesh State. It is usually celebrated in February or March in the week before the Holi Festival. That's why some people also celebrate it as the end of the harvesting.

During Bhagoria Fest, young boys and girls are allowed to elope after choosing each other and are later on accepted by society, through customs, as husband and wife.

According to tradition, the boy is supposed to apply red powder (gulal) on the face of the girl whom he chooses as his wife. If the girl wishes to marry him too, she also applies this gulal on the boy’s face and together they run away from that place. By the way, in case the girl doesn’t agree, the boy can try to win her heart by persuading her.

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Last updated:
Authors: Olha Savych