Fairs and Mela

Fairs And Mela

Punjab is known to have one of the most diverse and expressive culture in India and the Music and dance is an important component for showcasing it. The dances of Punjab are the most energetic forms of performing arts that you will ever witness. The synchronization found in the dances is simply outstanding. Almost all dances of the state are accompanied with a dhol. There are no dances where men and women dance together. Bhangra is for men whereas Giddha is performed by women.

Bhangra - The Dance of Beats

Bhangra DanceBhaṅgṛa refers to several types of dance originating from the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest developed of these was a folk dance conducted by Punjabis in the central northern areas of the region to celebrate the harvest, and whose general practice had ended by the Partition, 1947.

In the 1950s, a new folk dance, representative of the state of Punjab and composed of glimpses of men's Punjabi dance styles, was created and eventually received the title of bhangra. First developed in India and attaining a rather standardized form by the 1980s, the folkloric bhangra was exported to other countries by Punjabi emigrants. By the 1990s, a still newer style of dance called bhangra was being staged in the Punjabi Diaspora, often characterized by a fusion with Western dance styles and the use of prerecorded audio mixes. Aside from these specific dance genres, Punjabi dancing in general, especially when done to popular bhangra music, is often casually called "bhangra"

Musical accompaniment

Bhangra dance is based on music from a dhol, folk singing, and the chimta. The accompanying songs are small couplets written in the Punjabi language called bolis.

Bhangra singers employ a high, energetic tone of voice. Singing fiercely and with great pride, they typically add nonsensical, random noises to their singing. Likewise, often people dancing to Bhangra will yell phrases such as hoi, hoi, hoi; balle balle; chak de; oye hoi; bruah, haripa; or ch-ch to the music.


Traditional men wear a chaadra while doing bhangra. A chaadra is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. Men also wear a kurta, which is a long shirt. In addition, men wear pagri (turban) to cover their heads.

In modern times, men also wear turla, the fan attached to the pagri. Colorful vests are worn above the kurta. Phummans (small balls attached to ropes) are worn on each arm.

Women wear a traditional Punjabi dress known as a salwar kameez, long baggy pants tight at the ankle (salwar) and a long colorful shirt (kameez). Women also wear chunnis, colorful pieces of cloth wrapped around the neck.


Giddha DanceGiddha is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab region of India and Pakistan. The dance is often considered derived from the ancient dance known as the ring dance and is just as energetic as Bhangra; at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and elasticity. It is a very colourful dance form which is now copied in all regions of the country. Women perform this dance mainly at festive or social occasions.

Giddha costumes consist of bright coloured clothes complemented by heavy jewellery. The Punjabi salwar kameez or ghagra in bright and rich colours are the typical costumes of the dance, Giddha. Women also wear ornaments like mathapati on the forehead.

Giddha is usually danced in harmony, swinging and twisting the body, shaking the shoulders while bending knees and clapping.

Normally,there is no musical instruments are accompanied with Giddha, except (sometimes) a dholak (small two-headed drum) which provides the rhythm for the dance. Mostly women prefer clapping as the rhythm. The hand-claps of the dancers is a prominent feature of this art-form;

Giddha is essentially danced in a circle.All of them clap their hands and sing small couplets called Boliyan These Boliaan are emotional, humorous, teasing, love, nature and various topics. Then, two of the dancers come to the centre and perform the dance. These boliyan cover themes from nature to the excesses committed by the husband or mother-in-law or other relatives, and love etc.

Mimicry is very popular in Giddha. Gidha incorporates village life scenes of woman spinning cotton, fetching water from the well, etc. This is accompanied with appropriate Boli songs.


  • Lohri


    Lohri is essentially a festival dedicated to fire and to the Sun God. It is the time when the sun moves towards the north. The new configuration lessens the ferocity of winter and brings warmth to the earth. It is to ward off the bitter chill of the month of January that people light bonfires, dance around them in a mood of bonhomie and celebrate Lohri.

  • Maghi Mela

    Maghi Mela

    Maghi Mela is organized to commemorate a battle fought in 1705-06 by Guru Gobind Singh against the Mughals. This fair lasts for two to three days and falls on the Makar Sankranti day.On the first day, the devotees bathe in the Muktsar Tank - the pool of salvation, and the next day, they go in procession to the three holy mounds, namely, Rikab Sahib, Tibbi Sahib and Mukhwanjana Sahib. Rikab Sahib is the spot where the Guru's stirrup broke.


  • Kila Raipur Sports Festival

    Kila Raipur Sports Festival

    In February each year, Ludhiana becomes the destination for hundreds of sports enthusiasts, including foreigners. Many of these visitors have never seen bullock carts or camels running races that carry coveted cash prizes. People come to Kila Raipur to see the special breeds of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in highly professional events including other events like tent pegging, archery, fencing, riding , gymnastic and acrobatic displays by the Nihangs. Contact person: Gursharandeep Singh-09815403506


  • Hola Mohalla

    Hola Mohalla

    Hola is derived from the word halla (a military charge) and the term mohalla stands for an organized procession or an army column. The festival consists of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting prowess and valour, followed by kirtan, music, and poetry. For meals, visitors sit on the ground in neat rows called Pangats and eat vegetarian food from the Langars served by volunteers. Hola Mohalla: Nihangs carry traditional weapons and modern fire-arms as well, and are skilled at tent-pegging, sword wielding, jousting and other martial sports.


  • Fazilka Heritage Festival

    Fazilka Heritage Festival

    Fazilka Heritage Festival is an annual Art, Cultural and Food Festival of City Fazilka planned by Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka with the thought to involve people from all communities living in and around Fazilka to participate in it.

  • Baisakhi


    Baisakhi is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699. To mark the celebrations, devotees, irrespective of their religion, throng the Gurdwara, the Sikh place of worship. Processions through towns are also common. Sikh devotees generally attend the Gurdwara before dawn with flowers and offerings. Processions through cities are also common.


  • Rauza Sharif ‘Urs’

    Rauza Sharif 'Urs'

    Rauza Sharif 'Urs' is celebrated in the memory of the great Sufi Saint Sheikh Ahmad Farooqui Sirhindi. Sheikh Ahmed was the most eminent of Khwaja Baqi Billah’s disciples. He was the fourth of the seven sons of Sheikh Abdul Ahmad Farooqi Naqshbandi and was born in Sirhind. Urs provides an opportunity not only to Muslims but also to Hindus and Sikhs to pay obeisance to the saint and enjoy the fair and purchase handicraft goods.


  • Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman

    Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman

    Baba Farid, a 12th century Sufi saint, is described by many as the first major Punjabi poet. A large number of devotees from far-off places converged here to attend the annual the Baba Farid fair marking the saint’s arrival day with faith and fervour. The recitation of Sukhmani Sahib followed by a prayer at Gurdwara Tilla Baba Farid and a series of celebrations mark the five-day long fair. Devotees from all religious groups have great faith and devotion in this holy place. During the fair, the Baba Farid society organises various sporting and cultural activities to attract youth. Major attractions at the fair are daring stunts performed by the daredenl ‘Baazigars”. The Nagar Kirtan, which is a Sikh custom of processional singing of holy hymns also takes during this fair.


  • Kapurthala Heritage Festival

    Kapurthala Heritage Festival

    The Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Heritage Festival is held under the aegis of the Kapurthala Heritage Trust, in collaboration with INTACH and supported by the Government of Punjab. Held against the backdrop of the spectacular Jagatjit Palace, it starts each year with Shabad Kirtan in memory of Baba Jassa Singh who is himself remembered for his rendition of "Shabad Kirtan”. This festival unfolds a wonderful tapestry of classical music, dance and theatre.

  • Amritsar Sufi Festival

    Amritsar Sufi Festival

    To celebrate the spiritual and cultural heritage of Amritsar, PHTPB in collaboration with an event management company organizes "The Amritsar Sufi Festival". The festival has performance from eminent International and National Sufi performers.


  • Patiala Craft Mela

    Patiala Craft Mela

    The Crafts Mela is held at the Sheesh Mahal Art Gallery premises in which 150 crafts persons from different parts of India display their wares for fifteen days. Performers, entreprenuers and craft persons from different states offer cultural performances and display crafts from their respective states.

  • Bhatinda Virasat Mela

    Bhatinda Virasat Mela

    The Malwa Heritage Foundation attempts to revisit heritage by organising, the Virasat Mela, a heritage festival. Upholding a decades-old tradition, the Heritage Festival endeavours to revive the ancient folk arts, customs and traditions at a specially built "Jaipalgarh Village" inside the Sports Stadium at Bhatinda.


  • Jor Mela

    Jor Mela

    The annual three day Jor Mela is observed to mark the martyrdom of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji – Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. Held in the open grounds of Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara, the festival's main highlight is the light and sound show depicting the sacrifice of Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh in 1794, at such a tender age, upon refusal to accept Islam. Processions are taken out and display of Sikh games are held at this three day festival. Jor Mela is accompanied by martial arts performances and langar at the Gurdwara.

  • Harballabh Sangeet Festival

    Harballabh Sangeet Festival

    Organized every year from December 27-30, this music festival honours the memory of Swami Harballabh, a famous saint musician.Held at the saint’s shrine on the banks of Devi Talab, near Jalandhar, the event attracts classical singers and musicians of repute from all over the country.Swami Harbhallabh belonged to a rich family from Hoshiarpur and renounced the material way of life to become a disciple of Swami Tulja Gir who initiated him into the art of music.

For more information, you can visit website : http://www.punjabtourism.gov.in/Music.aspx External website that opens in a new window

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