Demarcated by its energetic and colorful culture, Punjab has a myriad of fairs and festivals which are a mirror of its tradition and heritage. They mark celebration, delicious food, music, dance and enjoyment. The state has religious and traditional festivals which are organized and celebrated all throughout the state. These fairs and festivals are a symbol of distinct Punjabi traits. Some of the most popular fairs and festivals of Punjab include – Shivratri, Mohharram, Dussehra, Diwali and Holi while the ones which have special meaning in the lives of people here are listed below.
Lohri - Celebrated in January
Marking the end of chilled winters in Punjab, Lohri is one of the most important festivals for the Punjabis. The festival celebrates fertility as well as spark of life. On this occasion, people gather around the bonfire, sing traditional hymns, throw sweets, pop corns, groundnuts, into the flames while greet each other with love and affection. This festival symbolizes prayers offered for the prosperity of the crops.
Basant Panchami - Celebrated in January and February
Heralding the advent of spring season, Basant Panchami is more than a festival symbolizing completely blossomed mustard fields that glows in the farms of Punjab. A fair is held to mark this festival and people dress themselves in yellow attires, gather in huge masses while walking down to fair where kite flying competitions are organized. You can see colorful kites swishing over in different directions in the sky.
Hola Mohalla - Celebrated in March
Celebrated in Anandpur Sahib, this is a religious festival which was started by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1700 AD. The festival adds martial and spiritual elements to colorful festival Holi, where Sikhs gather in huge number to conduct mock battles and military exercises. People come from far off villages on trucks and tractors to actively participate in the preparation of Langar.
Baisakhi - Celebrated in April
Baisakhi marks the first day of Sikh New Year Calendar which is also called the anniversary of Khalsa, the Sikh religion. Also known as North Indian harvest festival, Baisakhi is the day when the crop Rabi is reaped. The reason for celebration of this festival is the bountiful harvest of this crop. Fairs are held in different villages of Punjab where men and women dance and sing around enjoying the merry.
The Chhapaar Mela - Celebrated in September
This festival is celebrated in Chhapaar district located in Ludhiana. The festival propitiates a famous saint called Guga-the Zahir Pir, who is acknowledged as Lord of snakes.
Associated with the birth and martyrdom of the Sikh Gurus, there are three main Gurupurabs which are celebrated with great pomp and show in Punjab – the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, the birth anniversaries of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Religious processions are organized where devotees sing religious hymns. Special langar is arranged at gurudwaras.
Jor Mela - Celebrated in December
This festival is a three day festival which is celebrated with great enthusiasm at Fatehgarh Sahib. The festival marks the memory of sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji who sacrificed their lives for their religion. People from different cities of Punjab pay homage at the gurudwara here.
Harballabh Sangeet Mela - Celebrated in December
Organized in Jalandhar, this festival is famously celebrated in the memory of well known Sant musician, Swami Harballabh. It is said that this festival witnesses presence of musicians and singers of high repute.
Few other festivals which too mark a special place in Punjab are Id, Janmashtmi, Diwali, Good Friday etc. These are also celebrated with utmost devotion.
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