Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Importance Of Festivals In Punjab Culture

Among the popular festivals enriching the varied culture of India, is the festival of Lohri. Lohri “The Bonfire Festival” is celebrated on 13th January every year. It is a festival that marks the solar equinox and the sun starts moving towards Uttarayan (North).
People specially the farming community of Punjab celebrate it with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Bonfires, songs and dance til Jaggery and peanuts are the essence of Lohri. Punjab being a predominantly agricultural state that prides itself on its food grain production it is little wonder that its most significant festival is Baisakhi. Baisakhi (also called Vaisakhi) is a harvest festival that is celebrated on the thirteenth day of April according to the solar calendar.
It is celebrated in North India, particularly in Punjab and Haryana, when the rabi crop is ready for harvesting. This tough agricultural operation is rendered into a lighter occupation by merry community festivities such as the Bhangra dance by men, who pound the ground with vigorous steps accompanied by singing.
Women, too, break into revelry of dances, principally the Gidda dance, executed with fervor and rhythmic exactitude. On these occasions, men and women adorn themselves with gay-colored clothes and traditional jewellery. Generally, the sites of these festivities are on the banks of the rivers that have their sacred import with myths and legends woven around their origin and names.

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