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Fairs and Festivals | Marriages | Art Forms

Lohri: January
Celebrated on the 13th day of January, Lohri is a festival of zeal and verve and marks the culmination of the chilly winter. In true spirit of the Punjabi culture, men and women perform Bhangra and Giddha, popular Punjabi folk dances, around a bonfire. Enthusiastic children go from house to house singing songs and people oblige them generously by giving them money and eatables as offering for the festival. Late in the evening, people gather around the bonfire and throw sweets (gachak and rewri), puffed rice and popcorn (as holy offering) into it and sing folk songs. Lohri is also an auspicious occasion to celebrate a newly born baby’s or a new bride’s arrival in the family. The day ends with a traditional feast of sarson da saag and makki di roti and a dessert of rau di kheer (a dessert made of sugarcane juice and rice)

Muktsar Fair: January
The festival is in commemoration of a battle fought in 1705-06 by Guru Gobind Singh against the imperial forces of the Moguls and pays tribute to the forty Sikhs who achieved martyrdom on this day.

MukatsarOne of the largest Sikh fairs, it is held in the middle of January on the Makar Sankranti day. The festival is spread over three days. On the first day worshippers bathe in the sacred tank. The second day is a procession (mohalla) to the three holy mounds which lie to the north-west of the town, namely, Rikab Sahib, Tibbi Sahib, and Mukhwanjana Sahib. Rikab Sahib, commemorates the spot where the Guru's stirrup broke. Tibbi Sahib crowned with a Gurudwara, is the mound where Guru Gobind Singh stood and aimed his arrows at the imperial forces. At Mukhwanjana Sahib, Guru is said to have cleaned his teeth with a tooth-stick. After offering prayers here, the devotees then return to visit Tambu Sahib where the Guru's tent was pitched before the fight started, Shahid Ganj, which is the samadhi of the forty martyrs, and Darbar Sahib, where the Guru held his darbar after the cremation of the slain.

Bullock Cart RacingRural Sports: February
This national Fair is held in February at Kila Raipur, 6 km from Ludhiana. This sports meet epitomises the special Punjabi bonhomie and the spirit of never say die. Ingenious tournaments likes Bullock carts and animal races, awe inspiring feats of strength and danger, the traditional wrestling, cock-fighting, kabaddi and jumps and races are the highlights of the festival. The meet culminates in the electrifying dances of Punjab, the giddha and the bhangra.

Hola Mohalla: March
The spring season is ushered in by the Hola Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib. The Festival has great historical significance as it observes the militarization of Sikh followers into the order of Nihangs (warriors) by Guru Gobind at Anandpur Sahib.

Hola MohallaCelebrated on the day after Holi, the festival makes for a thrilling spectacle. Martial arts like archery, sword fencing, skillful horse-riding, tent-pegging, and the deft handling of other martial contraptions are displayed by the Nihangs. The festivities close with a ceremonial procession taken through the township and culminate in langar (The Common Kitchen).

Basant Panchami: March
Basant Panchami is the most famous of the seasonal fairs and marks the advent of spring. At the time of Basant Panchami, fields of mustard bloom all over rural Punjab, a spirit of gay abandon pervades the air and the heart and soul become one with nature.

Basant Panchami held in many villages of Punjab presents a bright yellow scene as people put on yellow costumes maintaining the mood of the season. Kite-flying is the major attraction of Basant Panchami and an innumerable number of multi coloured kites dot the skies on this day.

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