Punjab Festivals

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. One of the largest Sikh fairs, it is held in the middle of January on the Maker 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 that lie to the northwest 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.

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

Baisakhi: April

Baisakhi marks the jubilation of a bountiful harvest and is celebrated on the first day of the month of Baisakh (April/May). This is the New Year’s Day, going by the Saka calendar and corresponds to April 13th of the Gregorian calendar. Essentially, a North Indian harvest festival, it is the time for the reaping of the rabi (winter crop). Joyful Punjabis perform Bhangra to Dholak and enact the entire process of agriculture from the tilling of the soil through harvesting.For the Sikhs, the day has great religious meaning as Guru Gobind, the 10th guru of Sikhs, established Khalsa was on this day at Anandpur in 1699 AD. The Sikhs were baptized to form the Elect. This baptism of the sword, called pahul, led to the creating of the Panj Pyare, the Beloved Five. Each Khalsa was to adopt the panch kakkas, (the five Ks), Kesh (unshorn hair), kanga (small boxwood comb in their hair), kaccha (a pair of shorts), kara (a steel bangle), and a kirpan (a short dagger), which have since become an integral part of the Sikh identity.

The Rauza Sharif 'Urs':
May Rauza Sharif Urs is celebrated in the memory of great Sufi Saint Sheikh Ahmad Farooqui Sirhindi on May 31 every year. Sheikh Ahmed was the most eminent of Khawaja Baqi Billahs disciples. He was the fourth of the seven sons of Sheikh Abdul Ahmad Farooqi Naqshbandi and was born in Sirhind. People of all faiths pay their homage at the shrine of Rauza Sharif that is located on the Fatehgarh Saheb-Bassi Pathana road in the vicinity of Fatehgarh Sahib Gurudwara.

Chhapar Fair: August/September This three-day fair commemorates the descent of the Gugga Pir, a Chauhan Rajput, into the bosom of Mother Earth along with his steed. According to the legend, he possessed special powers over all kinds of snakes. The fair is celebrated at Gugge di Marhi, a big shrine built in his memory that has a reputation for curing people of snakebites. Earth is scooped up seven times to invoke Gugga Pir for protection against snakes. People sing folk songs and perform folk dances. The fair is held on the Anand Chaudas on the 14th day of the bright half of Bhadon (month of 15 August-13 September as per Hindu Calendar).

The Fair Of Baba Sodal: August/September The fair of Baba Sodal is held in the month of Bhadon (Mid August- Mid September) and attracts pilgrims of all religions from different parts of Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Baba Sodal was born in Jalandhar and the fair commemorates his death. According to the legend, Baba Sodal died by drowning in the pond where his mother used to wash clothes. He has come to be worshipped as the infant god. The fair begins early in the morning when women come in large numbers to make offerings at the samadhi (burial site). Pilgrims take a holy dip in the a tank called ‘Baba Sodal da Sarowar’.

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