Baisakhi Bhangra Dance

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Baisakhi the most important festival of Punjab, celebrated on 13th April is looked forward to every year with baited eyes. Other than food and gifts another most important aspect of Baisakhi celebrations is the Bhangra dance.

When was it performed?

Bhangra is originally associated with the spring festival of Baisakhi, when farmers gather to celebrate the fruits of their labour. When farmers brought home the grain after months of hard work, to celebrate it Bhangra was performed. It is the folk dance of Punjab and also an integral part of its culture.

How is it performed?

Bhangra is performed by a few dancers who keep singing also. There is a drummer with a dhol on a strap tied around his neck and with the help of two sticks he beats the two heads of the dhol. The scenes of sowing and harvesting are depicted through the movements of the body. The leader of the dancers stands near the drummer. The dancers move around in circle to the rhythms of the dhol. Anybody who wishes to join in the dance is welcome. The dancers take turn to come into the center of the circle and sing a boli also known as a verse. The dancers and the drummer challenge each other and that's when the excitement grows.

Types of Bhangra

There are different types of Bhangra like sialkoti, tribal, majha, malwa and a few more. It is the rhythms of the Dhol which form the essence of this dance. Chants of "Hoy Hoy", or "Balle Balle" are mingled with Bhangra. It is a very popular folk dance, probably the most popular. Bhangra has gained popularity not just in Punjab or India but all over the globe. It is the fast and energetic beats that make it so liked and enjoyable.

What to wear?

The dress the dancers wear for Bhangra is very colorful and vibrant. The rich and bright colors of Punjab are portrayed through the dress.

The dancers were nice bright coloured kurtas but it is the white kurta which is usually worn with a bright colored lower. They also were jacket on top of the white kurta which matches the color of the lower. Colors like yellow, red and green are quite common for the kurtas. Each of these colors are symbolic of saffron, prosperity and auspicious saffron respectively. The lower part of the dress is called a lungi (loincloth). It is tied around the waist and is rectangular in shape. The most interesting highlight if the dress is the pag (turban). It is the kind of pag that is worn in Haryana by the Jats. Another addition to the pag is the Turla (fan shapped decoration). Bhangra is a dance full of energy and enthusiasm and goes on for hours on Baisakhi.

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