Punjabi festivals

Punjabis celebrate a number of festivals which have taken a semi secular meaning and are regarded as cultural festivals by people of all religions. The Punjabi calendar is used to determine the celebration of the festivals.

The following is a list of Punjabi festivals.

Punjabi festivals


Main article: Maghi
Kheer for Maghi

Makar Sankranti is frequently known as Maghi by Punjabis. People visit the Gurdwara or the Mandir. The festival marks the increase in daylight and celebrated culturally by eating 'kheer' (rice boiled in milk).[1] Sports festivals are held in the region.


Main article: Lohri
Lohri fire

Lohri is the winter harvest festival of the Punjab region as the traditional time to harvest sugarcane is in winter. The festival also is the symbolic celebration of the winter solstice, and is the last day of the farmers' financial year.[2]

Basant Festival

Kite flying on Basant

Basant Festival is a seasonal festival to welcome the spring.[3] The traditional colour of the day is yellow and the dish of the day is saffron rice.


Main articles: Holi and Holi, Punjab
India - Colour Powder stalls on Holi- 7242

Holi is the spring festival of colours which is celebrated by throwing colours on each other. The festival is celebrated on the first day of the Punjabi lunar month of Chet and marks the Spring season.


Main article: Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi is the Punjabi new year and the harvest festival. Fairs are held throughout the Punjab on this day.


Main article: Rakhri
Threads of love Rakhri

Raksha Bandhan in the Punjab is known as 'Rakhri' and celebrated as a brothers and sisters day.


Main articles: Teej and Teeyan
Teeyan is a festival when girls play on swings that are set up under trees or open courtyards.[4]

Teeyan welcomes the monsoon season and the festival officially starts of the day of Teej and last for 13 days. The seasonal festival involves women and girls dancing Gidha and visiting family.

Punjabi harvest festivals

The following festivals are also harvest festivals:


Main article: Lohri
Cut sugarcane

Lohri is the winter harvest of winter crops such as sugarcane, pulses and nuts.


Main article: Vaisakhi
Agriculture in India tractor farming Punjab preparing field for a wheat crop before celebrating Vaisakhi harvest festival

Vaisakhi is the spring harvest of wheat in the Punjab.


Main articles: Diwali and Dussehra
Barley grown in pots (Khetri)

Traditionally, on the first day of Navratri people in Punjab sow pulses, cereals and other seeds in a pot which is watered for nine days at the end of which the seeds sprout. This custom is known as "Khetri". It signifies prosperity and abundance. It is very important to plant grains of barley in a pot. On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 - 5 inches in length. After saying prayers, these seedlings or the "Khetri" is submerged in water on Dussehra. This custom suggests a link to harvesting. The sowing and reaping of barley is symbolic of the "first fruit".[5][6]

Accordingly, Punjabi farmers traditionally start to harvest the kharif (monsoon) rice crops after Dussehra and sow the wheat (rabi crop) after Diwali. Therefore, Dussehra doubles up as a thanksgiving festival and Diwali is also considered to be a harvest festival. The Punjabi calendar has shifted from the seasons over the years. Dussehra is meant to be celebrated near the first full moon after the autumn equinox and Diwali on the first new moon thereafter.[7]


  1. Sundar mundarye ho by Assa Singh Ghuman Waris Shah Foundation ISBN B1-7856-043-7
  2. Singh, Hazara: Seasonal Festivals and Commemorative Days. Publisher: Hazara Singh Publications
  4. About Teej
  5. http://www.mantraonnet.com/navratri.html
  6. http://www.webindia123.com/punjab/festivals/festivals1.htm
  7. James Christie, the Younger. A disquisition upon Etruscan Vases, displaying their probable connection with the shows at Eleusis, and the Chinese feast of lanterns, with explanations of a few of the principal allegories depicted upon them
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