Punjab is one of the prominent northern states in India. Punjab is a state of charming wheat and corn fields and heart-warming folks. Indus valley civilization and Punjab has very close relations. Punjab is a state which has five rivers. ‘Punj’ means five and ‘ab’ means water; so that’s how Punjab got its name. The state is well-known for its hospitality. The Punjabis are very vibrant and energetic people. You will see Punjabis all around the world. They adapt to the culture and enjoy it tremendously. They are very brave. In the Indian army and other defense wings, around 20 to 25 percentages of people are from Punjab. It is the state where Bhagat Singh, who fought for the freedom of India, was born. They celebrate all the festivals of India, but we will discuss some of the interesting festivals of Punjab.
Holi is the most popular festival in Punjab. Punjab celebrates this festival of colors with full enjoyment. The Sikh community loves to celebrate every festival, but holy is the special one. They meet and greet each other with colors and participate in the martial arts competition because they do ‘Kushthi’ on holy. Holi is actually famous in Punjab in the name of ‘Hola Mohalla’. They make sweets and feast on this day. Holy is one of the most colourful festivals of Punjab. Holy shows the harmony of Punjabis to the world.
Photo by Jason Sam
Lohri is celebrated in the month of January. Just after the Makar Sankranthi people celebrate Lohri in Punjab. For Punjabis, Lohri is a very important festival. It is a celebration of fruitfulness and a way of life. Lohri is one of the most revered festivals of Punjab. The people of Punjab meet in some of the grounds and sit around the bonfire and throw sweets, rice, wheat, and popcorns to the fire. They sing and dance their folk dance around this bonfire and greet each other for a good agriculture season ahead. It is a very important function for those who are married recently or for a newborn baby.
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Basant Panchami is very important in Punjab because it is connected with agriculture and Punjabis are well-known for it. It is actually a sign of spring season’s arrival. Mustard grounds will blossom and you will see a bright yellow color everywhere in Punjab on these days. All the Punjabis will wear a yellow dress and they meet at fairs. These fairs are specially made for Basant Panchami and you can see all sorts of activities there. Kites are one of the interesting factors of this festival. There will kite competition around Punjab and you will see many kites flying the skies of Punjab. Kites will have unique colors and shapes, which is one of the customs in Basant Panchami. Among the various festivals of Punjab, Basant Panchami reinforces the cultural harmony of the people here.
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The Sikh community was established by the Gurus and they have a very special status in their life. Guru Purab is one of the festivals of Punjab, which is connected with the Gurus of Sikhs. In a year, there are 2 Guru Purabs celebrations. The first one is in the Katak month of Punjabi calendar for the pioneers of Sikh religions. Second is in December or January, in the Punjabi Poh month, for the Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. There will a huge procession of Sikhs in Punjab, where they sing and dance with their religious activities. There will be special langar on these days at the Gurudwaras. Punjabis are known for celebrations, whether it is religious or not.
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Tikka is very important and emotional one among the festivals of Punjab. It is a celebration where you will see the bonding between sisters and brothers. The sisters put a long red Tikka on the brother’s forehead and pray for their better health and long life. In return, brothers give gifts or money to sisters. Everyone in Punjab will be dressed in new cloths and sweet will made with a good feast on this day. It is a very popular festival and the Punjabis celebrate this wholeheartedly.