Fairs & Festivals

The Punjab has many fairs and festivals which are organised throughout the year. The following are some such fairs and festivals.

Fairs

Rauza Sharif Urs

Rauza Sharif Urs is celebrated in the memory of Sufi Saint Sheikh Ahmed Farooqi Sirhindi who was a disciple of Khawaja Baqi Billah. The fair takes place on the Fategarh Sahib-Bassi Pathan road in Fatehgarh Sahib.

Jor Mela

Annual three-day Shaheedi Jor Mela is held at Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara in memory of Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. Processions are taken out and Sikh games are displayed in the three-day Mela.

Bathinda Virasat Mela

The mela showcases traditional Punjabi culture at the Jaipal Theme Village inside the Bathinda Sports Stadium. The mela also involves heritage walks from Gurdwara Haji Rattan to Jaipalgarh theme village.


Vaisakhi

Local fairs are organised in various places in Punjab on Vaisakhi.

Mela Maghi

The Mela Maghi held at Muktsar lasts for three days.

Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman

Baba Farid, a 12th-century Sufi Saint, visited Faridkot, named after him. The fair takes place at Gurdwara Tilla Baba Farid and includes cultural and sporting events.

The mela takes place every year between 19 September and 23 September, Evolving from its spiritual origin associated with the visit of Sufi Prophet, the festival has now become all pervasive embracing cultural, literary, intellectual and sports spheres of the people of this region. In the true Sufi tradition of its founder saint, the festival has inherited the gospel of Humanism, Communal Harmony and National Integration is the conspicuous theme of the Aagman Purb.

Basant Festival of Kites

Local fairs are held in various places on Basant. The ruler of Kapurthala princely state, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh, started the Basant Panchami fair which is now in its 97th year (2014). People attend the fair at Shalamar Bagh wearing yellow clothes and turbans. In Hoshiarpur, a fair is held at the Boeli of Baba Bhandari where thousands of men, women and children participated and pay obeisance at the samadhi of martyr Dharamvir Hakikat Rai. Basant in the Punjab is associated with Hakikat Rai who laid down his life to fight for the right of people to follow their religion of choice. At the fair held at the Boeli of Baba Bhandari, it is customary to hold kite flying competitions.

Festivals

Kila Raipur Sports Festival

In February every year, the Kila Raipur Sports Festival takes place showcasing bullock, dog, mules, camel and other animal races.

Around a million people attend the annual sporting event which has now become an important part of India’s Punjab culture. Spectators travel from all over the world to the village of Kila Raipur to attend the games which attracts more than 4,000 sportsmen and women every February. Games include being run over by farm machinery, bullock chariot racing, horseback acrobatics and other weird demonstrations of strength.

Patiala Heritage Festival

Started in 2003, the festival takes place in Patiala in the Qila Mubarak Complex, which lasts for ten days. The festival includes the Crafts Mela, Indian classical music (vocal and instrumental) and dance concerts.

The Darbar Hall in the Qila Mubarak houses an impressive collection of Chandeliers, historic arms and beautifully painted portraits of royalty of Patiala and Britain.

The Sheesh Mahal Art Gallery displays a vast collection of rare miniature paintings of Patiala, Kapurthala, Kangra and Rajasthan. Other artifacts on show include Punjabi Folk art, Tibetan and orient cult objects, fine ivory and jade work and exquisite chandeliers and glass furniture of the Patiala state, including the Patiala throne and sofas made of Bohemian glass. The piece de resistance is a mammoth crystal double-storied fountain.

The Medal Gallery in the Sheesh Mahal contains probably the largest single and most valuable collections of medals and decorations in the world. The 3200 medals and decorations strong collection was acquired by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and dedicated to the people of Punjab by his son Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. The prominent among the medals on display are the Victoria Crosses from Britain, Legion de Honor from France, the Iron Cross from Germany for gallantry and Most Noble Order of the Garter amongst the highest civilian honours in the world. The oldest in vintage is from Portugal and dates to the 12th century. Apart from the historic and vintage value, the real value in terms of precious stone and metal is itself beyond comprehension.

Sheesh Mahal’s Natural History Gallery displays stuffed animals and birds curated by a celebrated English taxidermist in the early twentieth century.

Rupnagar Heritage Festival

The festival is aimed at promoting local Sufi music, bhangra artists and other Punjabi artistic talent.

Kapurthala Heritage Festival

The Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Heritage Festival is held by the Kapurthala Heritage Trust, in collaboration with the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage and supported by the Government of Punjab. The festival takes place at Jagatjit Palace and centres on classical music, dance and theatre.

Amritsar Heritage Festival

The festival showcases bhangra, giddha, gatka troupes, horses and elephants. The cultural programmes include shabad kirtan, theatre, music and dance.

Harivallabh Sangeet Festival

Taking place every year on 27–30 December, the music festival honors the memory of Swami Harivallabh. The festival is recognised by the Government of India as a National festival of music. Harivallabh shall complete 139 Years on 28 December 2014. The festival is held at the Devi Talab Mandir in Jalandhar city.

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