Sunday, 16 June 2013

Posted by Ratan Grewal On 22:24

Festivals of Punjab:

Punjab has a rich cultural history of celebrating various festivals and fairs with grandeur and enthusiasm. Festivals in Punjab are famous for its vivacity and colors.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 pomp and glory and it involves a huge fanfare.The people come together to share good times during the festivals in Punjab.Social interaction and rejoicement forms part of the festivals in Punjab.Some of the popular Punjab festivals are Lohri, Bandi Chhor Divas(Diwali), Baisakhi and Holla Mohalla.

         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.

    BAISAKHI:

    Baisakhi is a seasonal festival with a special accent. It is celebrated all over Punjab on the first of Baisakh. This is the time when harvested crops are gathered in and the farmers exult in the fulfillment of their year's hard work.

    On this festival, the farmers join the merry-making with full gusto and do not mind walking for miles to be able to do so. Since this fair is also an expression of prosperity, singing and dancing are its most enchanting features.The Punjab's famous Bhangra and Giddha are inextricably linked with this festival.

    A rural festival of North India, marking the beginning of the solar year (New year), celebrated in Punjab with great fervor. For the Sikhs the day is a collective celebration of New Year along with the commemoration of the founding of the Khalsa Panth (Sikh brotherhood) by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.

    It also signifies the end of harvest of the main crop. During Baisakhi the farmers pay 'thanks' to the Lord Almighty for their fortune and pray for a better crop the next year. Baisakhi involves a lot of socializing where friends and relatives are invited and delicious meals are served.

    The holy book of the Sikhs, 'Granth Sahib' is taken in a procession, led by the 'Panj Pyaras' (five senior Sikhs) who are symbolic of the original leaders. The occasion is celebrated with great enthusiasm at Talwandi Sabo, where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nine months and completed the recompilation of the Guru Granth Sahib in the Golden Temple
     in Amritsar. 




    HOLA MOHALLA:

    Hola Mohalla - a Sikh festival is celebrated every year in the month of March, a day after Holi. Hola "Mohalla" derives its name from Punjabi word “Mohalla” implies an organized Procession in the form of an army column accompanied by war drums and standard-bearers, and proceeding to a given location or moving in state from one Gurdwara to another.
    The festival was started by the tenth Sikh Guru – Guru Govind Singh who had tried to gather Sikhs for military exercises and mock battles after Holi. This has now become a traditional annual festival of Sikhs held at Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib in Punjab. The festival also marks the New Year as per lunar Nanakshahi calendar of Sikhs. It is celebrated over three days and it retains the character of fun and joy of Holi which concludes a day before. Even today, Sikhs celebrate this festival joyfully by watching and performing in martial arts parades, led by the Nishan Sahibs of the Gurdwaras. Which is then, followed by poetry readings and music competitions. But viewing it closely might be risky for spectators as the participants who perform Hola Mohalla fight hard with one another even though they do not fight in reality. The celebration has been recognized as a National Festival by the Govt. of India and it is being celebrated in the state of Punjab since 1701. 






    BANDI CHHOR DIVAS(DIWALI):

    Bandi Shor(Shodh) Divas ("Day of Liberation") ( ਬੰਦੀ ਛੋੜ ਦਿਵਸ ) is a Sikh festival which occurs during the month of Ashvin in the Indian lunisolar calendar, around the new moon day (Amavasya). This usually falls in November. Bandi Shor(Shodh) Diwas and Diwali are separate festivals and the events actually fall on different days; however, commonly in the popular calendars, they are celebrated on the same day. For this reason, many people often think of these events as if they are the same. In real terms, the day of release of the sixth Guru with the 52 kings was actually a few days before Diwali in 1619.
    The word "Bandi" is translated from Punjabi into English as "Imprisoned" (or "Prisoner"), "Shor"(shodh) as "Release," and "Divas" as "Day," rendering "Bandi Shor(Shodh) Divas" from Punjabi into English as "Prisoners' Release Day."
    Bandi Shor(Shodh) Divas celebrates the release from prison of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, and 52 other princes with him, in October 1619. Following their release, Guru Hargobind Ji arrived in Amritsar in the midst of the Diwali festival, and the day was henceforth associated with his liberation.



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