Amritsar hosts annual heritage festival to popularize Punjabi culture

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Amritsar, March 6 (ANI): A five-day annual Heritage Festival has been organized in the holy city of Amritsar that got off to a colourful start here this Thursday (March 4).

Among the attractive features on the opening day was Jago, a ceremonial procession of women carrying pots with lit candles atop, on their heads.

They were followed by troupes of Punjabi Giddha, Bhangra dancers, Gatka, singers and musicians followed by caparisoned horses and elephants on Thursday. The vibrant Bhangra, especially, attracted a lot of appreciation of all, as it also happens to be quite popular here.

On other days, the people have been offered an opportunity to attend and participate in religious procession across the city, traditional games, Kavi Sammelan, Qawwali programme, photo exhibition, seminars, etcetra.

According the organizers, the heritage festival is intended to further lend a boost to Amritsar appearing on the global tourist map.

Jagos, which is a traditional ceremony held on the eve of a wedding with women carrying pots with lit candles on their heads, was also organized as part of programme held to promote cultural tourism here.

On this occasion, K S Pannu, Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar talked about the saga of this popular festival.

"We are celebrating Amritsar's Heritage Festival, which begins from today. Bhai Satinder Singh headed the Kirtan Darbar (hymns singing in a Sikh shrine, Gurdwara), which was fantastic. Now 'Jagos' will be taken from different places in the city and converge at the Town Hall, a heritage building," said K S Pannu.

The Harminder Sahib popularly known as the Golden Temple is visited by thousands of devotees every day, as it is held in high esteem for being the Sikhs' most revered place of worship.

Devotees and tourists visiting the temple said the festival reflects the colourful and lively culture of Amritsar.

"I think this is a historic festival which symbolises the culture of Amritsar and it's a privilege for the girls of Amritsar to participate in this festival. The entire credit goes to the heritage department and Deputy Commissioner K S Pannu. This tradition should remain eternal," said Daljeet Kaur Johal, a local resident.

Another notable hallmark of this festival has been the participation of artistes from Pakistan.

The Amritsar Heritage Festival will conclude on Sunday (March 07). By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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