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|Culture of the Punjab|
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.
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). Sports festivals are held in the region.
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.
Basant Festival is a seasonal festival to welcome the spring. The traditional colour of the day is yellow and the dish of the day is saffron rice.
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.
Vaisakhi is the Punjabi new year and the harvest festival. Fairs are held throughout the Punjab on this day.
Punjabi harvest festivals
The following festivals are also harvest festivals:
Lohri is the winter harvest of winter crops such as sugarcane, pulses and nuts.
Vaisakhi is the spring harvest of wheat in the Punjab.
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".
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.
- Sundar mundarye ho by Assa Singh Ghuman Waris Shah Foundation ISBN B1-7856-043-7
- Singh, Hazara: Seasonal Festivals and Commemorative Days. Publisher: Hazara Singh Publications
- ASPECTS OF PUNJABI CULTURE S. S. NARULA Published by PUNJABI UNIVERSITY, INDIA, 1991
- About Teej
- 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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