Festivals have a deep connection with Punjabi culture. Uninhibited fun and soul-stirring celebrations are characterizing every Punjabi festival. Punjabi festivals are the true embodiment of the composite culture of India. The festivals have a lively charm and are hooked to the way of life. The joy and splendor of Punjabi festivals make everyone fall in love with the Punjabi imitable cultural traits. Some of the Punjabi festivals are briefed below.
The Baisakhi is a harvest festival which is celebrated to mark the ripening of Rabi harvest and pay tribute and thank god for the abundant harvest and pray for future prosperity. The festival also serves as an occasion to pay respect to the hard work of farmers. Celebrated on 13th of April, the Baisakhi marks the beginning of the New Year in Punjab. The festival is important for every Punjabi and you can see drums being played while people are singing dohay(two-lines poetry) to the tunes of the drum while working in the field.
The Lohri festival is an important festival that is related to the worship of the God Agni(fire). Celebrated on 13th January, it marks the end of the winter period; the Sun is closest to earth during this period. The celebration of this festival is vastly different; it is celebrated around a bonfire where people throw popcorns, puffed rice into flame, sing songs and dance around flames. The Lohri is considered as an auspicious day where Puja is organized as a prayer to Agni, the spark of life. It is a Punjabi tradition to eat Makki di Roti, Sarson da Saag and gajjak on the day of Lohri. “Sunder Mundriye Ho” is a famous folklore sung by Punjabi women while going around the bonfire.
Hola Mohalla or simply Hola is a three-day Punjabi festival celebrated on the 2nd day after Holi. The Hola is a masculine form of name Holi. This festival was started by Guru Gobind Singh in 1700 AD in Anandpur Sahib. The purpose of this festival was to add martial and spiritual elements to the celebration of Holi festival. On the day of Hola, you will see a gathering of Sikhs held for mock battles and military exercises. During the Hola festival, a large number of community kitchens known as Langars are set up to provide free food to all.
The celebration of Hola festival is marked by the recital if divine hymns in the early morning hours. With the dawn of the day, the Nihangs (an armed Sikh order) perform feats of sword fencing, archery, tent-pegging, fancy horse-riding and display of various acts of bravery. On the last day of Hola celebrations, a big procession led by Panj Pyaras begins from Takhat Keshgarh Sahib which is one of the five Sikh religious seats and passes through important Gurudwaras.
Basant Panchami is an important Punjabi festival that marks the coming of the spring. In Punjab, there are several fair held during the onset of spring and you will see a large crowd of Punjabis wearing yellow traditional costumes and visiting these fairs. The colorful sight at the fairs somewhat resembles their fully grown mustard fields that are beaming with gorgeous golden yellow color. Kite-flying is also seen during Basant Panchami and you can see hundreds of colorful Kites of different sizes in the sky swishing in every possible direction.
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