(Last Updated on : 18/11/2010)
During Lohri occasion, the Punjabi women reveal their joy; expel their suppressed feelings in a male dominated society through the Giddha. It is also an evergreen folk dance, in which young ladies gorgeously dressed in colourful clothes; bright coloured kameez, salwars and chunnis even the embroidered duppattas and heavy jewelry of the participants add colours to the dance. The ornaments that they wear are suggi-phul (worn on head) to pazaibs (anklets), haar-hamela, (gem-studded golden necklace) baazu-band (worn around upper-arm) and raani-haar (a long necklace made of solid gold). They also sing folk songs in mellow but sonorous voices, especially accompanying to the beat of the clapping.
One of the girls plays on the drum or `dholki` while others form a circle. While moving in a circle, the girls raise their hands parallel to the level of the shoulders and clap their hands in unison. Then they also strike their palms against those of their neighboring participants. Clapping of hands generally provides the rhythm. With drums, earthen pitchers are also used to lend enchantment to the ears of the dancers and spectators. Since this dance has nothing to do with men, only women can participate in it. During performing Giddha, the leader of the chorus sings a boli, repeated by other participants, which are accompanied by the beat of the dholak, ghada and taliyan (clapping).
By singing bolian the ladies outpour their feelings of resentment, agony, pain, jealousy at their in-laws, and affection, warmth and love for their parental homes. This dance is ceremonial in nature and performed on festive occasions such as marriages, mundan and the festival of Teej or occasionally at the time of harvesting as well. Mimicry is also a very popular insertion in `Giddha`. One girl may play the role of aged bridegroom and another his young bride; or one may play a quarrelsome sister in law and another a humble bride. In this way Giddha provides for the entire group of girls a best forum for giving vent to their emotions. The number of participants is unrestricted & it further exaggerates the movements of the group.