Festivals in Jammu
The majority of Jammu's population practices Hinduism, while some fraction of the population also preach Islam and Sikhism, and thereby the region enjoys a strong cultural heritage.Therefore, the major festivals that are celebrated are Baisakhi, Lohri, Navratri, Eid and many others which are of prime importance to the residents of Jammu. There are also major processions that take place during the festivals in Jammu. Let’s discuss some of the major festivals of Jammu at length.
Major Festivals of Jammu
The celebrations of Lohri are characterised by the chanting of mantras of the 'Havan Yagnas' , which light up nearly every house and temple in Jammu. In addition, the rivers are swarmed by thousands of devotees who take a dip in the holy rivers. In the rural areas, it is a habitual norm that young boys to go around asking for gifts from newlyweds and parents of newborns.
A special dance called the 'Chajja' is performed on the occasion of Lohri. It makes a remarkable picture to see boys along with their 'Chajjas' ornately decorated with coloured paper and flowers dance on the street in a procession. The whole atmosphere becomes vivacious with heart pumping music of the drumbeats.
The name Baisakhi has got its roots from the Vikram calendar and the name is a resemblance of the first month of this calendar. Every year, on the first day of ‘Vaishakh’ Jammu people celebrate Baisakhi. It is also lovingly called as the “harvest festival", and considered as a propitious time or phase for marriages. It is a very common sight for the devotees to be taking a dip in the river and these devotees horde the rivers, canals and ponds. There is a huge section of the crowd, which go to the Nagbani temple to witness the grand New Year celebration.
The occasion is marked by grand celebrations of the New Year and it is captivating to watch the famous ‘Bhangra’ dance of Punjab. The Gurudwaras are full of people who come to listen to ‘Kirtans’, offer prayers and feast on the ‘Prasad’ from the common kitchen (‘Langar’).
Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha
Eid-Ul-Azha is more important for the Qurbani (sacrifice). People sacrifice goats and sheep during this festival.
All in all, the festivals in Jammu are the time that one should be there to witness the grand celebrations and have a wonderful time of merriment and joy.