The state of Haryana celebrates the rich, magnificent culture of India in it’s variety of fairs and festivals that are celebrated with the same pomp and happiness here as all over the country. Following are the different Festivals of Haryana:
Kurukshetra Festival: The festival in Kurukshetra coincides with the Gita Jayanti, representing the birth of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavat Gita includes the fundamental truths and declares the way of life.
Pinjore Heritage Festival: The Pinjore Heritage Festival is conducted every year at 'Pinjore Gardens' in the month of December and this festival is conducted to endorse the rich culture of Haryana with its historical tradition.
Kartik Cultural Festival Haryana: The annual Kartik Cultural Festival is conducted in the month of November at Nahar Singh Mahal in Ballabgarh. The festival is the dual endeavour of Haryana Tourism, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Tourism and Department of Culture, Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of India, Development Commissioners Handlooms and Handicrafts, North Central Cultural Centre, North Zone Cultural Centre, Ballabgarh Development and Beautification Society and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan.
Holi Festival: The festival of Holi assumes an entirely new colour in the state of Haryana and hence a different name is associated with the ‘festival of colours, known as ‘Dulandi Holi’. Fun and frolic is also redefined in various forms in the festive celebrations here. People greet each other with colours 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 Festival: 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.
Gugga Naumi Festival: This is a unique festival of Haryana. Gugga Naumi is a spiritual festival, in association with snake-worship. It is observed in the months of August-September. People worship Gugga Pir or Zahir Pir who was reputed for having the power of curing people of dangerous snake bites.
Gangore Festival: 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 honour 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.
Mahabharata Festival: The Mahabharata Festival is held each year at the Kurukshetra in Haryana. It is celebrated with a number of events and celebrations and is one of the most well-liked of the Haryana Festivals.
Lohri 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 and 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.
Basant Panchami Festival: This festival is celebrated in Haryana with as much pomp and fervour 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.
Baisakhi Festival: 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.
Teej Festival: This festival is celebrated on Sawan Sudi. It is celebrated to 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 earth’s 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 food stuff 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.
Nirjala Akadshi Festival: 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 to 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.
Navratras Festival: Navaratri or Navaratra is a Hindu festival of devotion and dance. The word Navaratri means nine nights in Sanskrit. It is celebrated in the period of Sarad Masi Aswin by Hindu lunar calendar, all eight days and nine nights have its significance and is divided into sets of three days to worship three different aspects of the highest goddess or goddesses.
Guggapir Festival: 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 honour and praise of Gugga.