|Fair and Festivals in Punjab
Punjab is always in a celebrative mood as every month, there is an occasion to rejoice. January through December, one can get a glimpse of the vivacity of life in the festivals of Punjab. Celebrated in January with bonfire and bhangra, Lohri ushers in the cheerful spring season bidding adieu to dull winters. The other major festival is Baisakhi that celebrates the success of hard work put in by farmers for a good harvest. Get to know more about the fairs and festivals around the year and plan your visit.
It is essentially a festival dedicated to fire and the sun god. It is the time when the sun moves towards the north. new configuration lessens the ferocity of winter, and brings warmth to earth. It is to ward off the bitter chill of the month of January that people light bonfires,dance around it in a mood of bonhomie and celebrate Lohri. It is a festival to worship fire. Lohri Festival is celebrated with great pomp in North India. People gather around the bonfire and throw til, puffed rice and popcorns into the flames of the bonfire. Prayers are offered to the bonfire seeking abundance and prosperity. In true spirit of the Punjabi culture, men and women perform Bhangra and Giddha, popular Punjabi folk dances, around a bonfire. Enthusiastic children go from house to house singing songs and people oblige them generously by giving them money and eatables as offering for the festival.The purpose of the Lohri harvest ceremony is to thank the God for his care and protection. During this festival the people prepare large quantities of food and drink, and make merry throughout the day and night. Therefore everyone looked forward to this day.
Maghi Mela/Muktsar Fair
Maghi Mela is organized to commemorate a battle fought in 1705-06 by Guru Gobind Singh against the Mughals. This fair lasts for three days and falls on the Makar Sankranti day (January). On the first day, the devotees bathe in the Muktsar Tank – the pool of salvation, and the next day, they go in procession to the three holy mounds, namely, Rikab Sahib, Tibbi Sahib and Mukhwanjana Sahib. Rikab Sahib is the spot where the Guru’s stirrup broke. On the first day, the devotees bathe in the Muktsar Tank – the pool of salvation, and the next day, they go in procession to the three holy mounds, namely, Rikab Sahib, Tibbi Sahib and Mukhwanjana Sahib. Rikab Sahib is the spot where the Guru’s stirrup broke.
Kila Raipur Sports Festivals
In February each year, Ludhiana becomes the destination for hundreds of sports enthusiasts,including foreigners. Many of them have never seen bullock carts or camels running for coveted cash prizes in speed races. They come to Kila Raipur to see the special breed of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in highly professional events. It is to be seen to be believed.
Patiala Heritage Fesivals
Started in the year 2003 under the aegis of the Patiala Heritage Society, the Patiala Heritage Festival is an annual feature ornamenting the fair face of the city of Patiala. Held in the gentle climes of the month of February, every year, the Patiala Heritage Festival offers sublime not just for the music and art lovers of Patiala but also for those of the entire state of Punjab and region put together.
The festival of colours, Holi across Punjab with rich decorations at frenzied shops can be seen which creates colourful atmosphere. Bright colours of gulal (coloured powder) and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in applying colours on one another and throwing water balloons and passers by.
This festival is celebrated for five continuous days, with the third day being celebrated as the main Diwali or as ‘Festival of Lights’. Fireworks are always associated with this festival. The day is celebrated with people lighting diyas, candles all around their house. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. Streets, stores and buildings across various cities in Punjab are decorated with lighting and fireworks mark the enlightening the dark night and every street echoes with the laughter of children. People dressed in new clothes, visit relatives and friends to exchange greetings and gifts. People from all faiths come together and celebrate this festival.
Bhangra Festival aims to provide an opportunity to people across the country and abroad to get insight into one of the most popular music genre, Dhol beats. Bhangra is an important aspect of Punjabi culture that has been celebrating the joyous occasions from 2000 BC. Bhangra was mainly known as folk dance of harvesting season. Bhangra Festival shall strengthens communities by bringing people together in a festival atmosphere where everyone can enjoy food, music and dance. Audience participation will be highlight apart from competitions. People will dance on replicated steps to be taught on spot.
Amritsar Heritage Festival
The festival showcases Bhangra, Giddha, Gatka troupes, horses and elephants along with the beautiful jhankies depicting Punjabi culture. The cultural programmes included shabad kirtan, theatre, music and dance et al. The music also had a wide variety from folk to classical and from sufiana qawali to pop.
It is held in open grounds of Fatehgarh sahib Gurudwara, festivals main highlight is the light and sound show depicting life sacrifice of Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh in 1794, in their childhood age upon rejection on accepting Islam. Processions are taken out and display of Sikh games marks the heroic act of martyrs in three day festival.
Source: Punjab Tourism