Gugga Pir and his Devotees
Gugga means a saint. Gugga Pir was born on Bhadon Naumi at Dadreva village in Bikaner situated at Rajasthan and this day is celebrated as Gugga Naumi all over in northern India. Gugga is said to be a Chauhan Rajput. According to a famous legend, he was married to Kumari Sirial, daughter of Raja Sanjha of Kamrup.
Gugga Pir is worshipped practically all over Haryana and devotees are scattered over the neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Both Hindus and Muslims equally worship Gugga Pir and have respect and faith in him. The Gugga Pir is known by several names - Guru Gugga, Zahir Pir, Bagarwalla, etc.
This dance is generally performed in a procession held on a day about a week before the Gugga Naumi. The devotees sing and dance in praise of Gugga. The dance is accompanied with various musical instruments such as 'Deru', 'Thali' and 'Chimta'.
About a week or two before Gugga Naumi, his devotees take out a procession, led by a bhagat, carrying Gugga ki chhari- a strong and long bamboo stick, decorated with fans, garlands, flower and coloured pieces of cloth. Five 'bhagats' (Panch Vir) are the main dancers. They carry their own musical instruments in their hands, consisting of dholak, manjiras, deru (a small side drum), chimta and cymbals. The bhagats sing songs in praise of Gugga.
Performance of Gugga Dance:
Gugga dance is very simple in terms of movements but it evokes spiritual fervour among the devotees of Gugga Pir. The dancer's feet move according to the rhythm or their songs. As the tempo increases, they shed tears and beat their chests with iron chains. These dancers move around in Haryana villages during the month of Bhadon. Though simple, it creates an atmosphere charged with spiritual dedication among the devotees of Gugga.