The Bhagoria festival, which could be said to be an extended Valentine’s Day for the young tribal girls and boys, would begin from March 10 across Jhabua, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani districts of Madhya Pradesh.
It would last till Holi, on March 16. This is the time when a tribal youth proposes to the girl he likes at the traditional melas (fairs) by offering her paan (betel leaf).
If the girl accepts it, the duo immediately flee and do not return home till the parents agree to the marriage.
Locals say that the tradition of choosing the life-partner through Bhagoria festival is slowly dying out; but still a large number of youth get attracted to it.
A special type of liquor, sourced from toddy, is drunk during the festivities.
In view of interest shown by tourists, especially the foreign tourists, the MP Tourism Development Corporation has offered a package.
MPTDC Regional Manager M N Jamali said, “We have prepared special packages for Bhagoria festival this year under which tourists would be taken to various Bhagoria melas in the region.”