Punjab Festivals

The people of Punjab are very fun loving and love to mix with others. The exciting Punjab Festivals provide the people an opportunity to enjoy and indulge in social interaction. The festivals of Punjab are celebrated with much pomp and glory and it involves a huge fanfare. The people come together to share good times during the festivals in Punjab. Some of the popular Punjab Festivals are:

    Lohri

    The exciting harvest festival - Lohri in Punjab is one of the greatest festivals of the state. The people of Punjab show their gratitude to god for providing them with the rich resources. The festival gets a different flavor with traditional folk songs and dances like the Bhangra, Giddha etc.

    They dance and sing around the bonfires and children are treated with gifts, money, eatables etc. as they roam around from door to door, singing praises of Dulla Bhatti.

    The Lohri festival is among the oldest festivals of the country and it dates back to the time of Indus Valley civilization. A legendary story is associated with the Lohri Festival. Dulla Bhatti was the Rajah of of Pindi Bhattan, who had a huge popularity among his people. Almost like Robin Hood of the West, Dulla provided financial support to the poor by robbing the rich people of the land. He was killed by the Mughals for revolting against them. The tales of his bravery and generosity is remembered in the day of Lohri through songs and dances.

    Lohri is celebrated on the 13th day of January every year, which falls in the month of Poush or Magh according to the Hindu calender. The festival precedes the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. The Lohri Festival bring together people from every caste and community, enhancing brotherhood and social interaction. The Lohri Festival of Punjab is truly a festival for the mass.



    Holi

    The festival of color is seen in a different angle in Punjab. Holi in Punjab is known as the Hola Moholla, which is celebrated in a peculiar style. The revelers shout with their all might following the typical tradition of Hola Moholla.

    The game of Kushti or wrestling is organized in the localities on this day. The evenings are spent by playing with colors. Sweets and other delicacies like puri, gujia, halwa, malpua etc. are distributed among the people.

    The Punjabi Holi or Hola Moholla is observed a day after Holi is celebrated in the rest of the country. The festivals are a special one for the Nihang Sikhs of the region.

    The festival of Holi remembers the romantic encounters between Lord Krishna and Radha, when they used to play with colors along with their Gopis.

    The festival of Holi usually falls in the month of March.

    Holi is one of the most enthusiastic festivals of the land. Be it bathing people with colors, screaming at the top the voice, drowning in the taste of Bhang or dance to the rhythm of the Dholaks, the festival is celebrated with great exuberance.

    After the completion of the exciting events, people visit their friends and relatives. They share sweets and hug each other bringing out the real essence of the festival.

    The warmth of the feeling of brotherhood is the special gift that the festival of Holi presents us.



    Deepawali

    In Punjab the Deepavali festival or the festival of light adds more light to its glamor, with a significant characteristic.

    Deepavali or Diwali in Punjab is celebrated both by the Hindus and the Sikhs. Not only them, the festival is a time to get drenched in joy for anyone irrespective of religion, cast or community. The eternal festival of Deepavali is the symbol of victory for the good over the evil. The meaning of Deepavali is the decoration of lamps and the festival is really marked with people decorating their outdoors with Diyas or lamps. Deepavali is celebrated on thirteenth day of the Hindu month of Aswin, which falls generally in the month of October or November. The festival is observed twenty days after the festival of Dussehra.

    On the day of the Diwali, the goddess of wealth and prosperity - Devi Laxmi is worshiped. Some people also worship Lord Ganesha, the respected god of wisdom. People burst crackers and lit fire works with great enthusiasm. They wear new clothes and especially the children have a gala time. The people of Punjab give fresh coats of paint to their houses, decorate their floors and walls with rangoli and invite their relatives and friends. The temples and gurudwaras get adorned with fantastic illuminations presenting a wonderful sight in the darkness of the no moon night. The light and glow of Diwali wins over the darkness, truly.

    Idd-Ul-Fitr

    The festival of Idd-Ul-Fitr in Punjab is celebrated with no less importance than any other parts of the country. The festival is observed at the end of the Ramzan month, which is the month of fasting according to the Islamic calender. Like the Muslims all over the world, people of the faith in Punjab celebrates the festival with the same fervor.

    However the festival in Punjab does not limit itself to the Muslims only but beckons people from all religions without any discriminations. The word Fitr or Fatar has the literal meaning of breaking up and the Idd-Ul-Fitr is the festival which marks the break of the Ramzan fast.

    The festivities of the Idd-Ul-Fitr start with the sighting of the new moon. Thousands of people offer their prayers in the mosques around the state. They wear new clothes, distribute sweets and hug each other to spread the message of brotherhood. The children get their gifts and people invite their friends and relatives for some sumptuous feasts. They greet each other by saying Idd Mubarak, which means 'wish you a happy Idd'.

    Idd-Ul-Fitr is the auspicious occasion when the devotees thanks the almighty for providing them the strength and stamina, which enable them to carry out the one month long fast. People in Punjab celebrates Idd-Ul-Fitr with peaceful rejoicing and as one of the greatest festivals of the region.

    Dussehra

    Celebrated in many forms and names throughout the country, the Dusshera festival is perhaps the most popular festival. With its specializations and modifications, Dusshera in Punjab has emerged as one of the biggest festival of the state.

    The significant Hindu festival is a ten days long festival, which marks the defeat of Ravana in the hands of King Rama. This incident symbolizes the triumph of good over the wicked.

    The beautiful festival of Dusshera witnesses the people taking out processions and wonderfully decorated tableaus. This tableaus depict the many significant incidents of Lord Rama's life. The tenth day of the festival is the most exciting one. Stupendous effigies of the demon king Ravana along with the effigies of his son Meghnath, brother Kumbhkarna and other accomplices are erected in huge open spaces. Performers enacting the roles of Rama, his wife Sita and brother Laxman shoot arrows of fire at the effigies. The colossal images are stuffed with explosive materials then burst with deafening sounds and triumphant shouts of the followers of the Lord.

    Dramas called Ramlila, which are enacted to tell the stories of Lord Rama's life and achievements are the special attractions in the Dusshera celebrations in Punjab. If you get a chance to watch the Punjabi Dusshera celebrations, it will be a life time experience for you.

    Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom day

    Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom day is a very important day in the religious calendar of the Sikhs. This religious occasion is celebrated in the month of November or December. Of the ten Gurus in the Sikh Faith, Guru Tegh Bahadur is one eminent personality and is much honored by the Sikhs. Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded in Delhi. Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom day is celebrated to worship the graet Guru and pay him respect.

    The Sikhs faithfully observe ten important religious festivals each year. Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom day is one among the ten major festivals celebrated by the Sikhs. Like in any other festival, the Sikhs celebrate by organizing processions or Prabhat Pheris. They go out in huge processions and read out the Holy Book of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib. They sing hymns in the gurdwaras, and organize sermons and lectures. A large number of devotees visit to the Gurudwaras. Kirtans are also sung to pay homage to the Guru.

    Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom day is one of the ten Gurupurabs. These are anniversaries concerning the lives of the ten Sikh religious leaders. During every such festival, one of the ten Khalsa Pantha gurus is honored. The most significant of the events are the birthdays of Guru Govind Singh and Guru Nanak and the days of martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev and the great Guru Teg Bahadur.

    Maha Sivarathri

    The festival of Maha Sivarathri in Punjab is observed on the fourteenth night of the Hindu month of Phalgun. This auspicious day, which falls in the month of February or March is highlighted with the fasting devotees remain awake with the believe that Lord Shiva will appear in front of them.

    According to Hindu belief, Lord Shiva appears in his own supreme grace on the Sivarathri night. The word Sivarathri actually means the night of Lord Shiva.

    The festival of Maha Sivarathri has a nationwide following and Punjab is not lagging behind, indulging in the warm festivities. The devotees offer Bilva leaves with their prayers after taking holy dips in the nearby rivers. The followers observe a day long fast to please their god.

    Mostly the young women participate in the rituals with the belief that they will be rewarded with faithful and ideal husbands like Lord Shiva. Married women pray to the lord for the well being of their husbands and even men worship the lord to earn his blessings. The Shiva temples of the state are visited by thousands of devotees who come to bathe their lord with milk.

    Devotional songs or Bhajans are organized within the temple complexes. In some areas cultural functions are also held to entertain the vigilant devotees. The Maha Sivarathri is really a great night for all the people of the state.

    Christmas

    Christmas is the most significant festival celebrated across the world among the Christians. The festival has crossed all boundaries and is observed by people from all communities.

    Christians across India joyously observed Christmas, a festival that has acquired a universal appeal in this land of over one billion, with people from other religions too joining in the festivities.

    From Chandigarh in the north to Chennai in the south, and from Mumbai in the west to Kohima in the northeast, the faithful flocked to churches for the midnight mass and to pay obeisance at the nativity tableau that depicts the birth of Jesus Christ.

    Millions of homes across the country were gaily decorated with lights, buntings, stars, Santa Claus cut-outs and Christmas trees from under which children eagerly sought out the gifts laid out for them. It was then time for the traditional Christmas lunch with chicken substituting for the traditional turkey in most homes due to its easier availability, with plum cake and pudding topping off the repast. At countless shopping centers across the country, groups of youngsters went around singing Christmas carols and hymns to add to the festive spirit. Bakers and confectioners did brisk business while gift shops displayed exquisitely made Santas. Musical evenings were organised at various clubs.

    And as it happens during Diwali and Eid, people from other religions also joined the Christmas celebrations, greeting their Christian brethren and tucking in with gusto into the afternoon meal.

    Guru Nanak Jayanti

    Guru Nanak Jayanti is the greatest festival of the Sikhs and one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Punjab. The Guru Nanak Jayanti festival of Punjab is the birthday celebration of Guru Nanak Dev - the founding father of the Sikh religion. Nanak was born in the year 1469 at a place called Tolevandi near Lahore.

    Guru Nanak Jayanti is the most popular GurPurabs or birthday anniversary of the Sikh religious leaders. These days are observed with great respect for the Gurus and the dedicated devotees remember them amid huge fanfare.

    The celebrations start with processions taken out early in the morning, which are known as Prabhat Pheri. The Prabhat Pheri start at the crack of the Dawn from the Gurdwaras, covering the localities with men singing the Shabads - the Sikh hymns. The Guru Nanak Jayanti invites people irrespective of religion or race to participate in the Langar or the community lunches.

    In this way the festival promote social interaction and brotherhood. Adults and children attends the community service - Kar Seva, with great enthusiasm. They cook and distribute the cooked food in the Langar feasts.

    Special devotional songs known as the Kirtans are sung in the Gurdwaras and people crowd in thousands to hear the recitals. Guru Nanak along with all his prodigal qualities was a messenger of peace, love and equality. No wonder the same messages are carried on during the Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations.

    Last Updated on 22th January 2013