The Historical Marbat Festival of Central India also known as Kali Pili Marbat was celebrated once again with great zeal and high spirits in Nagpur on the second day of Pola. Hundreds of people took part in the celebration in spite of the COVID protocols.
This unique tradition or Marbat Festival has entered in 136th year which started during the British rule in the year 1885 to protest against the British, the Marbat procession is unique and is celebrated only in Nagpur City and is a major attraction at the end of the holy month of Shravan. The Teli community would take small dolls out in procession on the second day of Pola. These dolls would be representative of all the diseases and evil spirits that people believed pestered them.
During pre-Independence, the dolls also became symbolic of the oppressive British regime which led to the creation of the Pili (Yellow) Marbat, a gigantic female figure connoting the pale skin of the foreigners and a Kali (Black) Marbat- symbolic of a woman from the royal Bhonsle clan who colluded with the British- and a male figure, Badgya, began to be paraded around before converging in a field to be burnt. Nagpur city continued the tradition to mark the act against diseases and evil spirits.