Chandigarh, like any other place in India, observes the celebration of a large number of festivals, which are diverse in nature. The people of the city, being lively and dynamic, are always in the festive mood. They celebrate each and every festival whole heartedly and with great enthusiasm. The festivals serve as one of the best occasions for people to get closer to each other and allow them to share some good times. Every festival has numerous legends, traditional songs, dances and cuisines associated with it. In this article, we will explore the main fairs and festivals celebrated in Chandigarh.
Major Festivals Of Chandigarh
Chandigarh celebrates the harvest festival of Baisakhi on 13th April every year with great splendor. After the hard labor for winter crops, the festival comes across as the occasion to celebrate. On the festival day, which marks Punjabi New Year, prayers are held in the Gurdwaras, followed by the traditional dances and songs.
Lohri is yet another harvest festival of Chandigarh, celebrated on 13th of January every year. The Lord of Fire is worshipped on this day and offerings are made to the fire, followed by bhangra and giddha. The festival is celebrated to pay tribute to the Almighty, for the abundant harvest.
Holla Moholla is the festival of armory, celebrated in the month of March. Started by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the festival aims at restoring people's faith in the Khalsa Panth. Several events are organized during the festival, such as mock sword and spear battles, wrestling, music and poetry competitions, etc.
Gurpurab represents the festivals that are celebrated in the remembrance of Sikh Gurus, either on their birthday or martyrdom day. The Gurpurabs of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh are the most important of all the Gurupurabs. Kirtans and prayers are performed in the Gurdwaras, on gurpurabs, followed by the distribution of Karah Prasad and Langars (free meals).
Bhaiya Dooj (Tikka)
Bhaiya Dooj is celebrated in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov), one day after Diwali. This festival marks the strong bond between a brother and sister duo. The sister puts a ‘tikka’ (mark) of saffron and rice grains on the forehead of her brother, to protect him from evil. The brother, in turn, gives her gifts or money, as a token of his affection.
Teeyan is the dance festival of Punjabis, celebrated by women in the month of Sawan. One sees the best gidda performances as a part of the festival celebrations. The festival continues from the 3rd lunar day in the month of Sawan to the full moon day and there is gala function on the concluding day.
Karwa Chauth a famous festival celebrated by women in the month of October-November. On this festival, a fast is kept for the long life of husband. Moon is prayed on the day and women break their fast only after the moon rises, with the first morsel being fed by their husband.
Dussehra is a festival celebrated in the month of September-October. It is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, thereby symbolizing the eternal victory of good over evil. On this festival, people indulge in merrymaking in the day and attend the 'burning of Ravana effigy' in the evening.
Diwali falls in the month of October-November, the exact date being determined as per the lunar calendar, is celebrated with much gusto in Chandigarh. It marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhaya, after his fourteen years of exile and slaying or Ravana. Every home in the city gets lighted with candles and earthen lamps on this day.
Raksha Bandhan is another festival that revolves around brother-sister duo. On this day, a sister ties the holy thread (rakhi) on her brother’s wrist and prays for his long life and prosperity. The brother returns her affection by sweets and gifts. Rakhi also symbolizes an eternal protection of the sister, by her brother.