Punjab is known to the world for the exuberant spirit and grand lifestyle. Blessed with the best of natural resources that are complete with fertile land, five rivers, mountains, and enough greenery to make it one of the best places to live, Punjab represents opulence and prosperity in its best form. Festivals of Punjab are the best time to experience the vibrancy of their culture in its grandest manifestation.
If you plan a trip to Punjab, make sure to check the calendar for one of the festivals so that you get to soak into the cultural richness of this state. Here is a ready list of festivals in Punjab that is celebrated all through the year. Make sure to include one of these in your travel itinerary. I bet that will make your trip all the more worthwhile.
10 Vibrant Festivals Of Punjab
The festivals of Punjab is one of the most beautiful ways to get an insight into the traditions and culture of Punjab. Take a look at this list of all the top festivals of Punjab that one should be a part of at least once in their lifetime.
- Lohri – Winter Harvest Festival
- Baisakhi – Harvest Festival Of Punjab
- Hola Mohalla – Soak In Spiritual Vibes
- Karwa Chauth – Celebrate The Marital Bond
- Basant Panchmi – Marks The Onset Of Spring
- Teeyan – Marks The Arrival Of Monsoon
- Chappar Mela – Cultural Fair
- Jor Mela – Religious Congregation
- Tikka – Celebrating Sibling-hood
- Gurupurab – Colorful Sikh Festival
1. Lohri – Winter Harvest Festival
When the mist, fog, and cold waves cast their spell on earth on the longest winter night, the sacred fire of Lohri is lit to reach the skies. Sesame seeds, jaggery, and all things that provide warmth to the human body are offered to the fire and the loud and exuberant folk music and dance of the people fill the air with festive spirit. Lohri celebration in Punjab takes place because it is believed that after Lohri, the days start to become longer and warmer.
Significance: It is the winter harvest festival. It is said that the Sun God is invoked through the Lohri songs seeking warmth. The lore also has it that the day is celebrated in remembrance of the benevolent Dulla Bhatti who saved Hindu girls from being abducted by the Mughals. One of the popular themes of Lohri songs includes the mention of two girls thus saved by Dulla Bhatti named Sundari & Mundri.
Key attraction: The main highlight of this important festival of Punjab is the bonfire and the folk songs and danced that take place around the fire. People go around the fire and put all the produce of the winter harvest into the fire that includes gurh, gachak, sesame seeds, and other dry fruits. The same is distributed among the people which further leads to a grand feast with a delectable table spread including traditional dishes such as Til Rice, Makki di roti, and Sarson da saag among others.
When: On the day of winter solstice or the last day of the month when winter solstice takes place.
Lohri 2021: 13th January
2. Baisakhi – Harvest Festival Of Punjab
Indian has the custom to commemorate their occupational capacities through festivals simply because these occupations help us earn our bread and butter and Baisakhi, the harvest festival of Punjab exactly does that. Baisakhi festival celebrates the occasion of harvesting the first crop. The entire state rejoices and celebrates the sweet fruits of the labor they have put in all through the winter.
Significance: Harvesting the first crop of the year. Marks the first day of the Sikh new year.
Key Attraction: On this famous Punjabi festival, each and every house are decorated, people are seen in traditional clothes, fairs are held in different parts of the state. People celebrate performing their popular dance form Bhangra. The sound of dhol and folk music fills the air. And the cherry on the pie is the authentic Punjabi food spread that is served. If you ever visit Punjab at this time of the year, you will find the place at its vibrant best.
When: It is celebrated during the middle of the month of April.
Baisakhi 2021: April 13th (May vary)
3. Hola Mohalla – Soak In Spiritual Vibes
A day after the entire nation celebrates Holi, Hola Mohalla is one of the festivals celebrated in Punjab in Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib. Commemorating the day when Khalsa Panth was incepted by Guru Govind Singh. All the Gurdwaras are decorated, kirtan, path, and langar are arranged. The entire region gets soaked in the spiritual vibes and spends the festival remembering and reliving the art, acts, and philosophies of life as taught by the great Sikh Gurus.
Significance: The festival was founded by Guru Govind Singh and celebrates the chivalry and intellectual proficiency that is reflected by Khalsa Panth and the poetry composed by the Sikh poets.
Key attractions: Kirtan, religious programs, path and langar at the Gurdwaras; Gatka or the marshal art of Punjab, horse riding by Nihangs and cultural activities.
When: A day after Holi, the second day of the month of Chaitra, which falls on the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.
Hola Mohalla 2021: 29th – 31th March (May Vary)
4. Karwa Chauth – Celebrate The Marital Bond
The ever glamorized event in the year, all the more made to be famous by Bollywood, Karva Chauth is one famous festival of Punjab. It is celebrated on the fourth day of the waning moon fortnight (Krishna Paksha) in the month of Kartik when the married and engaged women keep fast from sunrise to moonrise for the health and longevity of their husband. This is a festival that is celebrated to commemorate the marital bond between husband and wife.
Significance: A day when married women observe fast for the long lives and well being of their husband. Men of their lives being the biggest support for the women, the sole breadwinner and provider of all things good, were considered to be the be-all and end-all in a woman’s life. To be able to fast and pray for his well being was considered to be the utmost blessing in a woman’s life in earlier times.
Key attraction: Women beautify, adorn themselves, and dress up just like they were decked up on their wedding day. The day begins with a special breakfast prepared by the mother-in-law called Sargi before the breaking of the dawn followed by a daylong fast, a special Puja and Paath performed by a group of married and soon to be married women. The fast is opened only after seeing the moon and some special ritual after which they take the first sip of water.
When: It falls in the month of Kartik on the fourth day of the waning moon which falls on the last week of October as per the Gregorian calendar.
Where: The whole of North India, particularly Punjab
Karwa Chauth 2021: 24th October (May Vary)
5. Basant Panchmi – Marks The Onset Of Spring
Basant Panchmi is a Hindu festival celebrated across the country, especially in Punjab with full zeal. The main festival of Punjab, this colorful festival marks the onset of spring in India. The day of the festival is said to be extremely auspicious and the goddess Saraswati is worshiped on that day. Basant Panchami is also considered auspicious for getting married, buying a house, or starting anything new.
Significance: The festival is celebrated in honor of Goddess Saraswati, who’s the goddess of learning and knowledge.
Key attraction: Colourful kites flying in the skies and people wearing yellow clothes make this festival absolutely vibrant.
Where: Across Punjab
Basant Panchami 2021: 16th February
6. Teeyan – Marks The Arrival Of Monsoon
Women’s dance festival, Teeyan is a festival celebrated to welcome the arrival of monsoon. Young Indian women wear shiny and colorful clothes, perform folk dances, and ride in swings tied to trees for the Teej festival in Punjab. These Teej dances along with songs show that women don’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives for their lovers and offer prayers after dances for well being of their spouses.
Significance: Although the festival has gradually been modified according to the new generation, it is as significant as earlier for married women and men. Wives used to celebrate this festival at their paternal home while their husbands were away from home for work. They used to dance while praying for their husband’s safe homecoming.
Key attraction: The Geedha dance, music, and swings
Where: Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa.
Teeyan 2021: NA
7. Chappar Mela – Cultural Fair
Chappar Mela is one of the most popular and spectacular festivals of Punjab. Celebrated in the village of Chappar in the Ludhiana district, it is held every year in September where people worship the Lord of the snake. Started around 150 years ago, the fair is filled with music and dance apart from the various traditions. This cultural fair has seen the participation of a large number of people in recent years.
Significance: The festival is celebrated to worship a snake, the embodiment of Gugga Pir.
Key attraction: Music, dance and fun-filled activities
Chappar Mela 2021: September, fourth day of the month of Bhadas
8. Jor Mela – Religious Congregation
Shaheedi Jor Mela is a religious get together in order to commemorate the martyred sons of Guru Gobind Singh. It is held every year in December at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, in the Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab. It is attended by lakhs of religious followers for which the local authority makes special arrangements every year. The highlight of the festival includes the recital of the holy book of Sikhs, followed by a procession on the streets.
Significance: The festival is celebrated to commemorate the martyred sons, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh of Guru Gobind Singh.
Key attraction: Procession on the street
Where: Fatehgarh Sahib district
Jor Mela 2021: December
9. Tikka – Celebrating Sibling-hood
Also known as Bhai Dooj, Tikka is celebrated in Punjab the day after Diwali. The festival celebrated the bond of brothers and sisters wherein the sister puts tikka on the forehead of the brother, praying for his long life. After this, gifts and sweets are engaged with each other. Everyone dresses up in new clothes to feel the festive vibe.
Significance: It is a celebration of the bond of brothers and sisters wherein the sisters pray for the long life of her brother.
Key attraction: Sweets and Gifts
Where: Across India
Tickets 2021: 5th November (May Vary)
10. Gurupurab – Colorful Sikh Festival
Gurupurab, one of the most important festivals of Punjab, is a matter of spirituality for the Sikhs. The Sikh community celebrates the birth anniversaries of the highly revered Sikh Gurus. The festival begins to be a religious procession with the chanting of holy hymns. People visit the Gurdwaras, offer prayers, seek blessings, and enjoy the sweet and holy langar on this auspicious Punjabi festival.
Significance: It is a celebration of the birth anniversary of Guru’s birth.
Key attractions: Religious procession, visiting Gurdwaras, and relishing langar.
Where: Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh
Gurupurab 2021: 19th November (May Vary)
Punjab is a destination that welcomes everyone and anyone with arms wide open. All the festivals of Punjab are celebrated in the most vivacious and colorful manner possible. So, whenever you next plan your vacation to Punjab, make sure you mark your calendars with these fun-filled festivals!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals Of Punjab
What is the national festival of Punjab?
One of the most important and religious celebrations that have been tagged as the national festival of Punjab is Vaisakhi or Baisakhi. This festival is celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus of Punjab.
Which festivals do Punjabi celebrate?
Why do Sikhs celebrate Lohri?
Lohri is one of the significant festivals of Sikhs and Hindus not only in Punjab but worldwide. Lohri is celebrated to mark the end of the winter season and welcome the sun in the northern region of the hemisphere. Lohri is celebrated by Puja Parikrama that takes place around a bonfire.
Why is Baisakhi celebrated?
Tagged as the national festival of Punjab, Baisakhi is a festival that commemorates the harvesting of the first crop of the year. Baisakhi is also considered the first day of the New Year according to Sikh’s calendar.
What happens during Karwa Chauth?
To celebrate Karwa Chauth, the married and engaged females fast from sunrise till the moonrise for the health and longevity of their husbands or to-be-husbands. Women beautify and dress up for their husbands just like they adorn themselves during their wedding day.
Are there any dance festivals in Punjab?
Yes, Teeyan is the dance festival of Punjab that is celebrated to welcome the monsoon season. Also known as Teej, this festival is celebrated by women who dress up in shiny wear and perform various folk dances or ride the swings that are tied to the trees.
How is Hola Mohalla celebrated?
Hola Mohala is a festival that celebrates the chivalry and intellectual proficiency reflected by Khalsa Panth. This festival is celebrated by kirtans, religious programs, paths, langars, martial arts, and much more.
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