FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Haryana is taken from the Sanskrit words Hari meaning the Hindu God Vishnu and ayana meaning (home). The state of Haryana is a perfect blend of the old and new. Haryana has witnessed the rule of many civilizations and cultures. Haryana celebrates numerous fairs and festivals that are unique to the state. All the festivals in the state are celebrated with a traditional fervor and enthusiasm. Almost every Indian festival is celebrated in Haryana. Haryana consists of people belonging to different castes and cultures who coexist in harmony. There are also a host of fairs that are unique to Haryana. The fairs and festivals of Haryana promise to take you away from the monotony of a routine life.
Land of Fairs & Festivals
Surajkund International Crafts Mela held at Faridabad in the fortnight of February, is an annual fair set in a rural backdrop that everyone looks forward to. It’s one of the very few places where ethnic crafts come together with authentic food, celebrating our country’s overwhelming diversity. It’s Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism’s initiative for handicraft lovers and the modest craftsmen. While the craftspersons from across the globe get a good platform to showcase their wares, the shoppers can treat themselves to specialities from every state. A host of cultural performances by artistes from different parts of the country and abroad add to the charm of the Mela.
Haryana Tourism also organises Baisakhi Mela (April), Mango Mela (June-July) and Pinjore Heritage Festival (November-December) at Pinjore Gardens every year.
Teej FestivalThe moon’s cycle determines when Teej is celebrated each year. The festival is celebrated in July or August annually, in India’s monsoon season. The festival is celebrated in numerous states, primarily in central and northern regions of the country – though only in Haryana is it an official public holiday. It’s celebrated in states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city, is home to some of Teej’s most well-known festivities.
Teej represents the ties between wife Parvati and husband Shiva. The festival commemorates Parvati’s unwavering dedication to her husband. When Indian women look for her blessings during Teej, they do so as a means of achieving a strong marriage — and quality husband. Not only does Teej center around a strong marriage, but it also focuses on the happiness and health of children.
The name “Teej” is thought to be a reference to a tiny red insect that comes out from the ground during monsoon season. Hindu myths believe that when that happened, Parvati visited Shiva’s residence. This sealed their connection as man and woman.
During Teej, women put on their best accessories and attire. They also often get henna or mehendi decorations on their hands. They sing many songs that are associated with the festival. They swing on swings that are fastened to big tree branches. They experience a combination of fasting and lavish, sumptuous feasts, too. Dancing is yet another typical Teej activity.
Not only does Teej focus on marriage and family ties, but it also focuses on the monsoons. Monsoons give the people welcome rest from the intense heat of the summer months.
One of the many festivals that keep the state of Haryana in a festive spirit almost all the time is the Haryana Festival in Haryana. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the day when the state of Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966. This year in 2016, the 50th Haryana Day will be celebrated all over the state on 1st November. During the Haryana Festival, there are cycle rallies as well as a rally cum race that is held from Chandigarh to Panchkula town. All people and cycle riders participate enthusiastically and there is cheer and rejoicing on the streets all over the state. The day of the Haryana Day festival also marks the Pakwan Pratiyogita, the food festival that is held at that time, at the tourist complexes. There are also blood donation camps and other Run for Fun events at the Haryana Festival. To add more enjoyment to the Haryana Day festival in Haryana, there are musical performances in the evenings that are held almost in all complexes in Haryana. All the state complexes and buildings are brightly lit up and decorated and present a cheerful and beautiful sight. There are also various kinds of contests held to add some flavor to the Haryana Day. People participate actively and enthusiastically in the contests, races and other methods of celebrations.
Gita Jayanti is the birthday of Bhagvad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus. It is celebrated on the Shukla Ekadashi, 11th day of the waxing moon of Margashirsha month of the Hindu calendar. It is believed the "Bhagavad Gita" was revealed to Arjuna by Krishna Himself in the battlefield of Kurukshetra (in present-day Haryana, India). The text is written in third person, narrated by Sanjaya to King Dhritarashtra as it transpired between Sri Krishna and Arjuna. Sanjaya, the secretary of the blind King Dhritarashtra, had been blessed by his Guru, Vyasadev, with the power to remotely view the events taking place on the battlefield as they transpired.
The festival is celebrated mainly in Kurukshetra, Haryana. The venue of the festival adds to the sacredness of the event. Kurukshetra is the land where celestial song 'Bhagwad Gita' is believed to have been delivered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. The place also holds significance as the famous sage Manu wrote Manusmriti here. The Rig Veda and the Sama Veda were also composed here. Apart from Lord Krishna, the land was visited by divine personalities like Gautama Buddha and eminent Sikh Gurus.
Srimad Bhagwad Gita has since its inception, been the philosophical guide and spiritual teacher for Hindus. In Gita, Lord Krishna has taught numerous lessons to Arjuna, which are considered to be ideal means of living one’s life. The holy scripture of Hindu mythology provides all the solutions for any problem of life.
During the Gita Jayanti Samaroh devotees and pilgrims from all over India gather at Kurukshetra. A ritual observed to be followed by everyone is to take bath in holy water of the sacred tanks - Sannihit Sarovar and Brahma Sarovar. The whole environment becomes divine and spiritual with numerous activities being organised.
The weeklong festival is celebrated with major attractions like shloka recital, dance performances, Bhagwad Katha reading, Bhajans, Dramas, Book Exhibitions and free Medical check-up camps. The Samaroh is organised by Kurukshetra Development Board, Haryana Tourism, District Administration, Art and Cultural Affairs Department Haryana.
Basant Panchami Festival
Summers can never be complete without a good feast on delicious mangoes. The people of Haryana know it well and the Mango Festival in Haryana is a testimony to that. It takes place at the Yadavindra Gardens in Pinjore. This place is about 20 kilometers from Chandigarh. The main idea behind the Mango Festival in Haryana is to enhance and highlight the tremendous popularity of the mangoes. During the Mango Festival in Haryana, many different varieties of mangoes from all over India, from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and also from states like Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. There is also a competition held between mango growers from all over the country who enter their prized fruits at the competition during the Mango Festival. The visitors at the Mango Festival get the chance to taste all the different and traditional varieties of these summer fruits during this festival in Haryana. Along with the mangoes, there are also the latest hybrid fruits from the different agricultural universities. Various companies from the agro industry and those companies in the food industry that process mangoes come and display their products at the Mango Festival. These products include different kinds of jam, pickles and canned fruits. The stalls exhibiting and selling mangoes also have cultural programs and functions which are a part of the Mango Festival. There are also competitions held between preserved fruits, food and other products of mangoes. The Mango Festival in total also reflects the enriching cultural extravaganza of Haryana. The Mango Festival in Haryana takes place in the months of June or July.
Surajkund International Fair is celebrated with a splash of colors, as well as the rhythm of drum beats that gives huge joy when participated in the Surajkund of Faridabad. This Mela comprises the unique diversity of the Indian culture and traditions, which are created to display the Rural attribute of India. This International Fair displays the Crafts Mela that showcases some of the most keen handlooms as well as the handicrafts of India. Also, one can observe the Handmade fabrics that are dipped in grand colors; even some kinds of interesting wooden and clay dolls are found at this Mela. If you attend the Surajkund International Mela, you will also find the Multicuisine Food Courts, where popular cuisines from all over the globe are displayed. There are also attractive folk performances that mesmerizes the evening for the sake of entertainment quotient. There are even delegated places for amusement, adventure rides etc. which makes Haryana a must-visit place during tis fairs.
Gugga Naumi Festival is a religious festival that is celebrated all throughout Haryana and is related to snake worshipping. The festival or the ritual usually takes place in the month of August and September. Gugga Pir or also known as the Baggar Wala is woven with a number of legends. Zahir Pir or the saint is also woven with the legends. Gugga Pir is known as Bagga Walla because of the fact that his grave was located near the Dadrewa near Ganga Nagar. It is known to be believed that a snake bite can cure people easily. The shrine is differentiated by squared minarets and roofs that are doomed. It is also called the Mari. Gugga fairs are held in various places including Bawal, Asadpur, Bikaner, Dharuhere, Darauli, Surora, Jatusana, Rohria, Turkiawas, Nautana, Bawana, Kuksi, Kanina, Pathewara, Bawania, Maupura, Hudiana, Kauwi, Nagal, Chaudhary, Ateli and Narnaul. A long bamboo with peacock plumes, coconut and colored threads, blue flag mark and hand fans shows the beginning of the celebrations. This is commonly known as the fly flap or the Charri. On Sawan’s 9th day of the month, there is a procession carried out by the saints all throughout the village with drums. Obeisance is offered in the form of churmas during the Gugga Naumi Festival. There are at least 5 devotees who are the main dancers of the festival. They sing and praise the pir that is followed by various instruments including dholak, manjiras, chimta, deru and cymbal dance. There is tune and rhythm and shedding of tears by beating the chest and iron chains. It is believed that if the snake bit a human being, Gugga was neglected. The singers who sing devotional songs are found in various villages including Matlauda, Kalan, Richhpur, Samalkha and many other adjoining areas. Gugga Naumi Festival is celebrated right after Janmasthami. They are mostly popular in the states of Punjab and Haryana. The festival falls usually in the month of August. Gugga Pir is known to have supernatural powers in possession that can cure anyone in need. Gugga is also celebrated in Andhra Pradesh and especially from the months of January till September. The festival is celebrated in the honor of Gugga Pir. It usually falls under the lunar month of Bhadon. During the ceremony, many devotees paint the walls of the temples in turmeric. People also paint various images of snakes in black and blue in colors. They offer milk and water on the day of the festival. On the day of the festival, liquid is poured into the holes of the snake sculpture. They also make dish sevian. Gugga Naumi Festival is celebrated in the state of Haryana and Punjab. The ceremony and rituals is held mostly in the temples as devotees pour in, in numbers from various places and villages. They offer prayers to the Pir for their families and themselves. Devotees who carry it out are also known as the Pir’s house. PirKesolle like devotional songs is sung most of the days of Gugga Naumi Festival.