Festivals of Punjab

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals of Punjab

“The Land of Five Rivers”, Punjab is one of the most fertile regions of the Indian subcontinent. Festivals of Punjab is something that needs to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. This north-western state is home to the Punjabi community, known to be loud, lively and having great enthusiasm for almost everything. Being an agriculture-based region, Punjabi festivities largely revolve around agriculture. Harvest season brings happiness and excitement.

Here is the list of 11 Festivals of Punjab

1. Baisakhi - Festival of Harvest

Baisakhi - Festival of Harvest

The Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi, one of the most celebrated festivals of Punjab by bathing in the holy river and visiting the Gurudwaras, where they take part in the prayers held during the day. Baisakhi gets everyone into the festive mood, and people like to dance their heart out. Special celebrations occur at the Talwandi Sabo, where Guru Gobind Singh recompiled the sacred Granth Sahib, the Gurudwara at Anandpur Sahib, where Khalsa was born, and the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The phrase 'Jatta Aayi Baisakhi' is loudly declared across the fields by gleeful farmers as they passionately dance in celebration, an exciting way of greeting the festival.

2. Hola Mohalla - Festival of Brotherhood and Bravery

Hola Mohalla - Festival of Brotherhood and Bravery

Hola Mohalla is a famous and colourful 3-day Sikh festival celebrated during spring. It takes place on the second day of the lunar month of Chett which is the first month of the Nanakshahi calendar used by Sikhs. Hola Mohalla procession takes place in Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur, the Rupnagar district of Punjab, which is one of the 5 Sikh takhts holding special historical significance. It is home to the birth of Khalsa Panth and has real artefacts from those days.

3. Lohri - Famous Folk Festival of Punjab

Lohri - Famous Folk Festival of Punjab

Lohri- Celebration of Lohri marks the end of the winter season. Being one of the most famous festival of Punjab, Lohri celebrated with the beating of Dhol, Nagadas, and singing of traditional Lohri songs. Children visit the neighbourhood asking for treats. The festival is full of life, and you can't afford to miss the North Indian's Lohri. Special celebrations take place in the houses of newborns and newlyweds.

4. Karwa Chauth - Festival of Fasting

Karwa Chauth - Festival of Fasting

Fasting is an integral part of Hindu Culture. Fasts or Vrats or Upvas are a way to represent your sincerity and resolve, or express your gratitude to the Gods and Goddesses. People throughout the country observe fasts during various religious occasions. Some people also observe fast on different days of a week in favour of a particular God or Goddess associated with that specific day. It is widely believed that by doing so, you are depriving your body of a basic necessity and thus, punishing yourself to cleanse off the sins that you have committed until the day of fast.

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5. Gurupurab - Vibrant Festival of Punjab

Gurupurab - Vibrant Festival of Punjab

Guru Nanak Jayanti, or as it is commonly called, Guru Nanak Gurpurab, is a Sikh festival which is celebrated with a lot of fervour and excitement in many parts of India by Sikh and Punjabi festivals alike. Most Sikh festivities are centred around the birth of their ten Gurus, who helped shape the religion and preach the importance of religious devotion. As the name suggests, Guru Nanak Gurpurab celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who is the first Guru of the Sikhs and the founder of Sikhism.

6. Basant Panchami

Basant Panchami

As suggested, this festival marks the beginning of Basant or spring season. It is celebrated forty days before the actual arrival of spring as it is believed that it takes at least forty days for seasons to transit and reach their full bloom. Another impressionable element of Basant Panchami is the importance of ‘Yellow’ as a colour. In Punjab, farmers who have sown mustard seeds in their farms. As spring approaches, these fields turn into a beautiful yard of million yellow blooming flowers. People wear yellow and Namdhari Sikhs distribute langars at gurudwaras to show gratitude to the Supreme, sharing their harvest with others. Not confined to any religious identity, Punjabi Muslims celebrate Basant Panchami with great gusto too, flying kites from their rooftops. Spring surely personifies the spirit of Punjabis.

7. Teeyan

Teeyan

A cultural festival observed by and for women, Teeyan or Punjabi Teej marks the onset of the monsoon season. Known to the be one among the best festivals of Punjab, Teeyan begins on the third day of Saawan Maas and ends on Saawan Purnima, spanning a total of thirteen days. It was mandatory for every married woman to spend the entire Saawan month at her maternal home. Traditionally, Teeyan is synonymous to monsoon swings and giddha. Girls and women would tie swings on trees and collectively dance in the traditional dance form, Giddha. Over time, Teeyan has been reduced to women fasting on the Saawan full moon day and eating a well-prepared spread later.

8. Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj

Having many regional names like Bhau beej, Bhai Tika and so on, Bhai Dooj is a religious festival celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha (Bright Fortnight) in Kartik maas (a month in Hindu Samvat calendar). The customs of this festival are similar to Raksha Bandhan. The celebration stretches across the North Indian region, including Punjab. Embracing the brother-sister relationship, Bhai Dooj is all about scrumptious sweets and family time. Ritualistically, the sister performs aarti and applies tika on the forehead of her brothers. Then the sister ties the kalawa on her brother’s wrist - recollecting promises of keeping her safe. The celebration is enhanced with special sweets and foods. Observed on the second day after Diwali, Bhai Dooj is another bead in the string of celebrations.

9. Chappar Mela

Chappar Mela

Chappar Mela is an annual fair organised in the village of Chappar in the Ludhiana district of Punjab. Commemorating the renowned Gugga Pir or ‘Snake God’, this mela celebrates the advent of this local folk deity. Organized on the fourth day of Bhadas maas (September), Chappar mela has been an annual occasion for the people in the Malwa belt for over 150 years. Having started as a small gathering, Chappar mela now attracts millions of people who have a firm belief in Gugga Pir. There is various folklore behind why this snake-man hybrid is worshipped. One such folklore narrates that a farmer had a son and a snake. The two were so close that they could actually feel each other’s pain. The snake died accidently and so did the boy. The boy, Gugga and the snake, Sidh were assigned a particular spot where people could come and worship them.

10. Jor Mela

Jor Mela

Shaheedi Sabha locally known as Shaheedi Jor Mela is a three day long religious sabha (congregation). It is organised every year in December at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, in the Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab. Sikhs come together to pay homage to the martyrdom of Sahibzaade Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, the youngest sons of the tenth guru of the Sikh order, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Both of these brave hearts along with the mother of Guru Gobind Singh, Mata Gujri were imprisoned and forced to convert to Islam, which they refused abhorrently. This incited the governor of Zirhind, Wazir Khan to entomb them alive. For the sake of their beloved community and religion, they sacrificed their lives and accepted martyrdom. The first day of the congregation evokes the religious spirit in people through prayer and kirtans.

11. Rural Olympics at Qila Raipur, Ludhiana

Rural Olympics at Qila Raipur, Ludhiana 4.0 /5 View 6+ photos

Home to one of the quirkiest festivals you will come around anywhere in the world - Rural Olympics, Kila Raipur is an amazing village whose love for sports and recreation is unmatched anywhere else in the country. This unique Punjabi festival is held in the small village is located just 15 km from the city of Ludhiana in Punjab and is like any other village of the state with huge fields of wheat and mustard that stretch as far as eyes can see, and a certain calmness and peace about it, except for the three days of February when the village transforms into a hub of sports, enthusiasm and celebration.

Festivals of Punjab are said to be very spiritual and lively. They are largely farmers thus land and nature are indispensable elements of their lives. From Basant Panchami, marking the arrival of springs to Punjabi Teej that celebrates womanhood and monsoons. Punjabis truly rejoice in the transitions of nature. Punjabi festivals like Bhai Dooj celebrate familial relations whereas Chappar Mela and Jor Mela express the spirit of communal harmony and togetherness.

This post was published by Harshitha

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