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Religion And Rituals In Punjab

The main faith of Punjab conforms, by more than 60% of the population, to Sikhism. Golden Temple (Sri Harmandir Sahib), the holiest Sikh Shrines and the apex religious body of Sikhs Sri Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) are in the holy city of Amritsar. The temporal place of Sikhs, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, is located within the complex of Golden Temple. There are five temporal places of Sikh’s religious authorities (Takht sahib) in India and three among them namely Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Anandpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib are located in Punjab. Numerous Sikhs gather to march in religious processions on the foremost holidays of Sikh calendar like Hola Mohalla, Gurupurab, Diwali and Baisakhi in almost every village, town and city. In Punjab, nearly all villages, towns and cities have at least one Sikh Gurudwara in suitable sizes and architectural styles. The followers of Hinduism are nearly 37% forming the second largest religious faith of Punjab populace. A big section of Punjabi Hindus have trust in both Hinduism and Sikhism and pay visits to all revered places (Mandir and Gurudwara) of both the faiths along with the adoration for all the Sikh Gurus in their private practices. The other religious faiths like Islam (1.53%), Jainism (0.16%), Christianity (1.21%) and Buddhism (0.17%) are also followed without any discrimination by their respective believers.

Rituals in Punjab

The revered Guru Nanak Dev thought that lots of rituals were of bare formalities thus Sikh faith and Sikh populace do not stress excessive significance on rituals. Guru Nanak Dev encouraged people to feel and introspect themselves for connotation/solution. Prayer is regarded pious and is performed heartedly at both Gurudwara and home. The dutiful Sikh always recites certain verses from Guru Granth Sahib after waking up, bathing, in every day family congregation and while attending the temple with the Khalsa.

Some Sikhs grandly move whisks of yak-hair across the altar whereas other collect donations and Granthi recite from the holy Guru Granth Sahib during religious congregation. Religious youthful men are baptized in the Sikh faith. Almost every Sikh home has altars with the prints of all ten Gurus keeping Guru Nanak at top because Sikh religion prohibits idol worship.

Devoted Sikhs are awake early in the morning and chant verses and murmur God’s name, Satnam Wahe Guru and meditate for hours. The original first words calling from God heard by Guru Nanak Dev is the main Sikh prayer which goes: God is truth and one without enmity, eternal in unborn form and self existent recognized by the Guru’s grace. The evening hymns are sung during the funeral when a Sikh dead body is cremated. The deceased’s family observes ritual lasting from seven to ten days and Guru Granth sahib is recited from start to end by the members.

Wedding in Punjab

Punjabi weddings are performed traditionally which strongly reflect the Punjabi culture and rituals.

The marriage ceremonies differ according to respective religion- the wedding ceremony is performed in Punjabi in Sikh faith, marriages are conducted in Sanskrit in Hindu faith and Muslim marriages are performed in Arabic. Some ritual commonalities like dress, dance, food and songs are there in every faith’s ceremony. These ceremonies and rituals have developed since different traditional periods.

Songs Sung on Wedding Time

Songs of the bridegroom's side

  • Mangane di geet: sung at the time of engagement
  • Maneve de gaon: songs sung to welcome the bridegroom
  • Gharouli de geet: sung while filling the pitcher(gharouli) for Bride/Bridegroom's bath before the wedding
  • Chounki charanvele de geet: songs sung when the bridegroom sits on the chounki wooden bathing seat
  • Sohhle: songs of happiness and joy
  • Ghoriyaan: sung at the time of riding to the bride's house
  • Sehra: sung at the time of tying the bridegrooms flower-veil
  • Kangana: sung when the bride and bridegroom enter the house together for the first time.

Songs of the bride's side

  • Suhag: which is sung by the bride in praise of her parents and the happy days of her childhood and in anticipation of happy days ahead
  • Jaggo: procession song to call the neighbors to the wedding.
  • Churra charan vele da geet: sung when the chura, ceremonial bangles are worn by the bride.
  • Janj: sung when the janj, marriage procession, is to be greeted.
  • Milni: sung at the ritual introduction of the two sides.
  • Ghenne de geet: sung when the bride is adorned with jewels.
  • Siftan: song in praise of the bridegroom
  • Chhandh: evolved from poetry, songs of joy.

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