Fair and Festivals in Amritsar
Lohri Festival
Lohri is mainly celebrated in the North Indian states of Punbaj, Haryana, and parts of Himachal Pradesh. Lohri is celebrated after the harvesting of the Rabi (winter) crops and give in to relaxing and enjoying the traditional folk songs and dances. Lohri is celebrated by the Hindus and Sikhs alike.
Baisakhi or Vaisakhi Festival is celebrated as the Sikh New Year and the founding of the Khalsa Panth. History of Baisakhi traces its origin from the Baisakhi Day celebrations of 1699 organized by the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh to form Khalsa - Brotherhood of Saint Soldiers to fight against tyranny and oppression.
Ram Tirath Fair
Ram Tirath Fair is regarded as an important religious event of Amritsar. The fair is held at a place called Ram Tirath which is situated at a distance of 11 km from Amritsar. A pilgrimage of Punjab, the site at which the Ram Tirath Fair is organized a tank is situated. The myth surrounding the fair says that this tank was dug by the ardent follower of Lord Rama Hanuman. As per the historic past of Ram Tirath, the place was once used by Devi Sita who was the wife of Lord Rama. During her exile Sita spent her days in a hut in Ram Tirath and gave birth to Lav and Kush in this place only. Also, one of the greatest epics of Hindu Shashtra Ramayana is said to have been written by Rishi Valmiki in Ram Tirath. During the five days of the Ram Tirath Fair which takes place after two weeks of Diwali, the women of Amritsar make lamps of flour, fill with mustard oil or ghee and float these in the water of the tank while signing holy songs. This custom is known by the name of Tullu floating in Amritsar. Also, in the wee hours of the fair people come to Ram Tirath to take bath in the holy waters of the tank. After the bath the devotees take a round of the tank while reciting slokas.
Basant Panchami
Panchami has a specific meaning, Basant means Spring, whereas Panchami means the fifth day of the spring. It falls on Panchami - on the Waxing Moon. The festival lies in the month of January-February. The young girls dressed in the diverse shades of yellow magnify the splendor of nature. Kite flying, a popular sport in India, is associated with the Basant Panchami day. It is a day for young crowd - no routine work, no studies, only merry making.
Guru purab is a major festival of Punjab which is followed in two different times of the year. The first one is observed in the month of November whereas the second one is organized in the January month. The first Guru purab celebrated across the length and breadth of Punjab, is followed by the people of Amritsar too. In November, two days are decided upon to celebrate the festival of Guru purab in which the holy sermons of Guru Nanak are remembered in Amritsar. During these two days, Japji Sahib and Granth Sahib, the sacred religious scriptures of Sikhism are read by without any gap. Also, the Sikh devotees visit the various Gurudwaras of Amritsar to pay respect to the Sikh Gurus. The procession of the Sikh followers with the Granth Sahib is an common sight during the festival of Guru purab. The gurudwaras also offer prasad on the pious event of Guru purab in Amritsar.
Hola Mohalla
Hola Mohalla festival is celebrated by the people of Amritsar on a day when Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and revered Master of Sikhs, had been baptized. Anandpur Sahib which boasts of a significant religious importance in the context of Sikhism, is the place where the festival of Hola Mohalla is followed by the people of Punjab. The day of Hola Mohalla falls the following day of Holi which is considered as one of the biggest festivals of Hindu communities. As one of the pious religious events of the Sikhs, Hola Mohalla attracts a large number of followers who come to Anandpur Sahib from near and far locations of Punjab. On the day of Hola Mohalla Sikh people seek the blessings of the revered Masters and gather in the gurudwara of the place.
Diwali Festival
Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third days is celebrated as the main Diwali festival or 'Festival of lights'. Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. The festival od Diwali is never complete without exchange of gifts. People present diwali gifts to all near and dear ones.