(Last Updated on : 28/03/2013)
The state of Haryana astonishingly combines both antiquity and plenty. Since times immemorial it has been a cradle of Indian culture and civilization. So the festive celebrations in Haryana are marked with great enthusiasm and traditional fervor. Festivals in the state of Haryana make for unrestrained merrymaking. Haryana participates in almost all the festivals taking place in the country the most vibrant one being Teez. The festivals of Haryana would not only enliven your spirits but also would be a warm welcome from the monotonous schedule of your regular life.
The festival of Holi assumes an entirely new color in the state of Haryana and hence a different name is associated with the festival of colors, known as Dulandi Holi. Fun and frolic is also redefined in various forms in the festive celebrations here. People greet each other with colors and thus enhance the feeling of harmony due to which happiness prevails. The tradition of breaking pots is celebrated with much gusto here. It is an extreme pleasure watching the human pyramid breaking the pot of buttermilk high up in the street.
Diwali is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Haryana and is celebrated all over the state in the middle of the month of Kartik. Choti Diwali or Small Diwali comes first and the religious rites and traditions are celebrated with utmost sincerity and devotion. Rice and sugar are put in vessels with a paisa placed on the top and are given away to Brahmin and girls. It is in the name of the deceased ancestors that the ceremony is performed. The rich and trading classes specially consider it as their own festival.
Lohri is celebrated in the state of Haryana just before the day of Makar Sankranti. For the community of Punjabis the festival of Lohri is a very special festival. This auspicious and joyous festival celebrates fertility and the spark of life. The religious rites and traditions are observed with great devotion. All the locals gather round the bonfire throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames. They also indulge themselves in merriment by singing songs and exchanging greetings. The first Lohri of a newly wedded bride and newly born child is extremely important.
This festival is celebrated in Haryana with as much pomp and fervor as that of the whole country. In this state Basant Panchami is celebrated to welcome the season of spring after the dead and decay of the winter season. People celebrate this joyous festival with much ebullience and the main attraction of this festival is kite flying.
The festival of Gangore is celebrated on Chet Sudi-3 or in the months of March/April. Huge idols of Gangore and Ishar are taken out in a procession and devotional melodies are sung in praise of the Lord till they are immersed in the water. This is mainly regarded as a springtime festival and is observed in the honor of the Goddess of abundance, Gauri.
The unmarried female members of the house worship for a spouse of their own choice while married women seek blessings for long life of their husbands. The Goddess is worshipped throughout the preceding fortnight and thousands of people participate in the procession of Goddess Gauri adorned with beautiful dresses and semi-precious jewels.
The festival of Baisakhis is a very important one for the Punjabis in the state of Haryana and is celebrated with joyous music and dancing. It falls every year on 13th April and once in 36 years it falls on 14th April. It was on this particular day that the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, better known as Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa in the year 1699. The Sikhs on this day visits the Gurdwaras and listen to Kirtans. After the religious rites and traditions get over sweetened semolina is served to the masses. The function ends with langar or the community lunch. Mock duels and bands playing religious tunes form part of the processions. This festival is also marked as the last opportunity for relaxing before they start harvesting of corn.
This festival is celebrated on Sawan Sudi. It is celebrated to the welcome the season of monsoon. After the first showers of rainy season, a small insect called Teej in the state of Haryana comes out from the earths soil. All the girls are excused from the household chores on this day as they apply henna on their hands and feet. They also receive new clothes from their parents. The puja or the worship is performed early in the morning and the baya which consists of various foodstuff is placed on a platter at the place of worship. A decorated chowk or square is also kept over there and an idol or picture of Goddess Parvati is installed. Different cultural performances are kept exclusively for the evening.
This festival forms a very important part in the lives of the women in the state of Haryana. It is celebrated in the month of Jaisth or the months of May/June according tpo the English calendar. The women folks perform some religious rites and rituals for the welfare of their family. They keep fast for the whole and also remain abstained from water.
The birthday of Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu which is popularly known as Janmashtami is celebrated in Haryana along with the whole country with much dynamism and exuberance. All the temples of the state are vibrantly embellished. During this festival many legends of Shri Krishnas life, including his exploits and his amorous dalliances with the gopies are enacted in the Raaslila. Bathing the image of infant Krishna and then placing it on a silver cradle are included in the ceremonies of midnight. This festival is also celebrated with a special fervor by the people of Brij Bhoomi area.
This festival is celebrated on the next day of Janmashtami. This festival is celebrated by both the Hindu and the Islam community and reflects the true secular spirit in the state of Haryana. A dance procession is also taken out in which the Panch Pirs are the main dancers. They sing songs in the honor and praise of Gugga.
In the state of Haryana the festival of Dussehra is celebrated just before Diwali. This festival is being associated with the great epic Ramayana. The Brahmins are fed on these days in memory of the deceased members of the family. The Shradas are followed by the Nauratas. On this day pudding or halwa is eaten with rice and curd. All the members of the family except the women folks put stalks of green oats on their heads. On the last day huge idols of King Ravana are burnt all over the city at night and mark the victory of the good over the evil.
The Mango Festival and the Kurukshetra Festival have become popular annual events in the state of Haryana.