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  Events and Festivals
Festivals of Punjab
Baisakhi (April)
Dancing is one of the most prominent aspects of Baisakhi celebrations in Punjab. Most popular form of dance for the occasion is Bhangra and Gidda, the folk dance for men and women respectively. To celebrate the harvest festival of Baisakhi men and women dress themselves in traditional attire and get together in open fields and dance to the fast paced beat of the dhol.
Lohri (January)
The event is inextricably linked to the land and the harvesting seasons with the festival being seen as the last chance for rest and merriment before the crop harvesting begins later in the year in March or April. As the sun sets on the evening of Lohri, huge bonfires are lit across the state symbolising the sun and the move away from winter towards the warmth of the summer months. Whole communities often gather for religious services and to share meals and snacks cooked on the open fires.
Holi (March)
In Punjab and Haryana, Holi is celebrated in a interested way. The brides of the families hang a pot of buttermilk high up in the streets and challenge to their brothers-in-law, who try to get to break the pot by forming a human pyramid. Women try to stop them by beating them with their saris rolled up as ropes. This mock-drama is staged to commemorate the playful pranks of child Krishna, who would steal milk, butter and curd from the maids' houses. In the evening, the brothers-in-law bring sweetmeats for the women of the house for their contribution in keeping the family united. The color play also takes place simultaneously.
Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Jayanti (November)
Guru Nank Jayanti is marked by prabhat pheris or early morning processions that begins from the gurudwaras and then moves to different localities singing hymns or shabads. The celebration lasts for three days. Usually two days before the birthday of Guru Nanak, ‘Akhand Path’ or forty-eight hour non-stop reading of the holy book of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib is carried on at the gurudwaras. A procession is carried out on the day before his birthday which is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones).
Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib Jor Mela (May)
Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib Jor Mela of Punjab is held every year to commemorate one of the most significant events in the Sikh history - the martyrdom of two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh. They were bricked alive for refusing to convert to Islam. This horrific incident took place on 25th December, 1704. Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib Jor Mela of Punjab is a source of inspiration and strength for the people of Punjab, as it reminds them of their rich tradition of being ready to sacrifice their lives for their faith.
Martyr Festival (March)
Martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were the prominent personnel who sacrificed their lives to save the country from the British Rule. They were educated, modern, and with a modern outlook; they did not believe in the policy of non-violence as sermonized by Gandhi. They earnestly believed that the country can only be saved from the grasp of the British domination by the policy of extremism and they were engaged in active struggle against the British. So, they were hanged on 23rd March and this day is observed with reverence and admiration.
Diwali (November)
In Punjab, Diwali Festival is the time for everyone to rejoice, looking forward to a bright future. Enthusiastically enjoyed by people of every religion, it's magical and radiant touch creates an atmosphere of joy and festivity. Diwali, festival of lights, symbolizes the victory of righteousness and lifting of spiritual darkness. The preparations of Diwali begin well in advance. People start decorating their homes, preparing sweets, thousand of lamps are lit to create a world of fantasy. Each house entrance is made colorful with lovely traditional motifs of "Rangoli" designs to welcome Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan at Devi Talab in Jalandhar (December)
Since the Punjabis are renowned for the Fairs and Festivals and they are said to be the most cheerful people all over the world it is very natural that the Fairs and festivals of Punjab are the gala events in the Indian subcontinent. Swami Harballabh was born in a affluent family at village of Bajwara and afterwards he became a saint and renounced the world. He held a very high place in the field of Classical Music and Swami Tulja Gir who taught him also encouraged him to practice art and music etc. He was the composer of many new and innovative forms of classical music.
Mukatsar Maghi Festival in Punjab (January)
The name Mukatsar Maghi Fair has been derived from the Muktsar which the name of the 40 liberated Mukhtas who died a valiant death in the Battle of Khidrana. They showed tremendous loyalty to the religion and so, they are adored by the people still now.
Gurudwara Nanaksar Jagraon (August)
Gurudwara Nanaksar Jagraon is a popular festival in Punjab. The festival is held every year at the memorial of the Sikh saint, Baba Nand Singh Kaleranwale, at a distance of 38 kilometers from Ludhiana. Baba Nand Singh founded Gurdwara Nanaksar decades ago. The annual five days fair is held here to commemorate the Sikh saint Guru Govind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti (January)
Celebrated by the Sikhs, the birthday of their tenth and last guru, this day witnesses’ large processions and special prayer gatherings at all Gurudwaras. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Nanak (Sikh Guru), was born at Patna Sahib on December 22, 1666, (Poh Sudi Saptmi). His birthday generally falls in December or January or sometimes twice within a year as it is calculated according to Hindu Bikrami Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar, the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib falls annually on January 5.
Hola Mohalla Anandpur Sahib (March)
Holla Mohalla is an annual festival celebrated in Punjab in the month of March. This Sikh festival is magnificently celebrated at Muktsar and Anandpur Sahib. It stretches on for three days. Holla Mohalla is also a community event uniting people in an atmosphere of caring and sharing. The festival also reminds of the gallantry of Sikhs who struggled with the enemies of the land. The festival begins with early morning prayers at the gurudwaras. People sing kirtans and perform kar seva. Other cultural activities are ceremoniously performed in the evening. Holla Mohalla witnesses special programmes of songs and stories about the life, wisdom and valor of the ten Sikh gurus. Music, dance and poetry competitions are also organized at various venues. Holla Mohalla festival ends with a procession through major gurudwaras of town.
Birthday of Guru Ram Das (October)
Yogi Bhajan gave us a special sadhana in honor of the birth of Guru Ram Das. This sadhana is a 2½ hour recitation of the complete Shabad (sacred song) of "Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru." We practice this Shabad to ignite the power of our prayer. As Yogi Bhajan said, "Any move you make, you must pray because that ignites the power. Ignite the power and then go. Let God take care of it." Guru Ram Das is the Lord of Miracles and so on this day pray for your miracle!
Chappar Mela (September)
The popular Chappar Mela is organized every year at Chappar, Ludhiana. People mainly worship snake embodiment of Guga in this fair. The fair falls on the fourth day of the month of Bhadas every year. It is believed that, the chappar fair was started around 150 years back, just by small congregation of devotees and these days the number of people attending the fair has risen to millions. Another fair with the name as minor chappar fair is also held at the same place. The special trend of scooping the land (7 times) is also practiced in this fair. People consider digging of land will bring Gugga Pir to prevent them against snakes. The fair is full of music, fun and dance. The fair has emerged as a grand festival in past few decades.
Sodal Mela (Mid-August/Mid-September)
Baba Sodal Mela occupies a prominent place in the list of fairs in Punjab. The fair is held to pay tribute to the great soul of the Bab Sodal. Every year, it is held in the month of Bhadon, in the city of Jalandhar. The celebration takes place on the 14th day of Shukal Paksh (bright half of the lunar month). The fair attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country, who come and pay tribute to the deity on this day. Baba Sodal Fair is centered on the Samadhi of the baba, with his painted portrait placed alongside, decorated with flowers and rosaries. There is a holy tank nearby the Samadhi, which is called the 'Baba Sodal da Sarovar’. Pilgrims either sprinkle the holy water from this tank on themselves or sometimes, even take a dip in the tank. Then they present offerings at the Samadhi of Baba Sodal.
Chandigarh Garden Festival (February)
The Festival of Gardens was started to encourage people to explore the most beautiful creation of nature roses and also to attract people to stunning rose garden of the city for enjoying the grandeur of the blooming flowers. The flower show presents large number of rose species in world fame Rose Garden. The festival of gardens is not only limited to the flower show but also serves a lot to its visitors.
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