FESTIVALS OF PUNJAB
Punjab is a classic example of the diversity and versatility of Indian culture. This vibrant state has stayed true to its dynamic character since ages. Soul-stirring celebrations and uninhibited fun characterize any festive celebration in Punjab. While the state has several of its own regional festivals, it celebrates and participates in the national festivals with equal vigor and excitement. Punjabi festivals are a beautiful embodiment of the robust and composite culture of India. The enthralling festivals have a lively charm that keeps the celebrators hooked to the Punjabi culture and way of life. Splendor and joy exemplify the festivities of the state and makes one fall in love with its inimitable cultural traits.
Just like other states of India, Punjab celebrates some diverse and unique festivals every year. Each of these festivals has some or other religious legends associated with it. Punjabi people believe in celebrating any festive occasion to the hilt. So, every festival is marked traditional songs, energetic dances, and delicious recipes. The festive season of Punjab is just the ideal time to listen to the renowned artists of the Indian subcontinent performing live. The traditional music and folklore make for the perfect ambiance and provides an opportunity to the celebrators to drench themselves in the contagious spirit of this amazingly fascinating state. Let us explore the major festivals of Punjab in detail.
Baisakhi marks the beginning of “New Year “in Punjab. It is celebrated to commemorate the ripening of winter (rabi) harvest and in turn, honor the hard work of farmers. It is observed on 13th of April every year and marks the time of festivities and gaiety among the inhabitants of Punjab.
Lohri is the winter harvest festival of Punjab, celebrated widely throughout the state. It is the festival of fertility and is associated with the worship of the God of Fire (Lord Agni). According to the Hindu calendar, Lohri falls on 13th January every year, at a time when the earth is closest to the sun.
Holla Mohalla derives its name from the Punjabi word “Mohalla”, meaning an organized procession in the form of an army column, accompanied by war drums and standard -bearers. This festival is celebrated in a spectacular manner in all parts of Punjab, especially in Muktsar and Anandpur Sahib.
Punjab is a land of high devotion and theism. Sikh Gurus are highly revered across the state. It is in the honor and respect of their gurus only that Punjabis observe Gurpurab every year. Gurupurabs seek to celebrate either the birthday or the martyrdom of the Sikh Gurus. Though there are a number of guru purabs observed in Punjab.
Raksha Bandhan is the festival in which a sister ties the silk thread, called ‘rakhi’, on her brother’s wrist. In return, he promises to protect her from all the evils. The festival mark celebrates the love between a brother and sister duo. Brothers also give sweets and other gifts to their sisters, on this day. Rakhi symbolizes eternal protection of the sister by the brother.
Teeyan is the dance festival of women, celebrated in the month of Sawan. One sees the best gidda performances in this festival. The festival continues from the 3rd Lunar day in the month to full moon and there is gala function on the concluding day.
Dussehra is widely celebrated in all parts of Punjab, just like any other state of India. It marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, thereby symbolizing the eternal victory of Good over Evil.
Diwali is celebrated all over Punjab in the month of October-November, the exact date being determined as per the lunar calendar. It is celebrated to rejoice the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhaya, after fourteen years of exile. On this day, every home in Punjab is lighted either with candles or with diyas.