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Top 7 Popular Folk Dances of Punjab, India

Top 7 Popular Folk Dances of Punjab, India

Punjab is a very rich state regarding the styles and number of folk dances. It has many different types of folk dances that are quite popular and distinct.

Inspired by the enthusiasm displayed by the Punjabis,  many non-Punjabis also get into the spirit and fun of the folk dances of Punjab.

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In this article, you will get to know about the following traditional folk dance styles of Punjab,

  1. Bhangra
  2. Giddha
  3. Luddi
  4. Dankara
  5. Malawi Giddha
  6. Jaago Dance
  7. Jhoomer Dance

Let’s see each of these in detail…

1. Bhangra

Bhangra is a popular dance form not only in Punjab but also in India and many parts of the world.

This is the signature dancing style of the Punjabis wherever they reside.

People of all other cultures also feel ecstatic when they hear about “Balle Balle, Shaba Shaba” and perform some common Punjabi dance steps then and there.

This traditional folk dance of Punjabis originated in the Majha area of Punjab.

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Bhangra is solely related to the harvesting season of Punjab during the Baisakhi.

Men wear Lungi and colorful buttonless jackets and women wear traditional salwar kameezes.

The people of Punjab also perform this folk dance on many other special occasions in Punjab. 

2. Giddha

Giddha is a beautiful and colorful dance performed generally by women in Punjab.

It represents the vigor and vitality of women.

This dance does not represent any particular occasion and is therefore performed at any social event.

Women wear common household stuff with a few ornaments.

This dance form is derived from the ancient dance form regarded as ring dance.

In the dance styles, women jerk their shoulders and bend the lower part of their bodies with the rhythm.

Clapping hands are performed instead of using any musical instruments.

Giddhas’ songs are known as Boli or Boliyas which are emotions expressed by these women. 

3. Luddi

Luddi is a triumphant disco where individuals move their heads in various ways.

A loose and simple shirt serves as the outfit for men in this folk dance.

The dancers put their faces in one direction and their backs in the other direction.

The body moves in a sinuous, snake-like manner. A guitarist is also present in the dance area.

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This traditional folk dance is performed by both women and men clapping hands, jumping, making half turns, and clicking fingers creating an ecstatic environment altogether. 

It is specially performed at weddings and sports to celebrate the triumph. 

4. Dankara

Dankara is also known as Gatka Dance. In Punjab, the gatka dance is also quite popular.

This dance style incorporates aspects of martial arts, and you need to take extensive training to perform it. 

In this dance form, two men holding colorful staves dance around each other and tap their sticks together to the rhythm of the drums.

5. Malawi Giddha

Malawi, also known as Malawi Giddha, is one of Punjab’s well-known traditional dances.

It is primarily performed by the bachelors of Punjab.

This folk dance emerged in districts like Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozpur, Faridkot, Mansa, Sangrur, and Patiala.

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A variety of musical instruments are used in the dance, including the popular Punjabi Giddha, Bhangra music, and the Chimta/tongs, a classic South Asian percussion instrument.

Dholaki is another instrument used in the performance.

6. Jaago Dance

The meaning of Jaago is awakening. 

In Punjab, this type of dance is typically performed at weddings. 

A group of female dancers moves and performs dance steps across the street while singing Jaagu songs and carrying a pot (Gaggar) with enlightened candles in it. 

The songs are based on social issues and are full of humor and sarcasm. 

Sarcasm and mockery are particularly aimed at elders. 

7. Jhoomer Dance

Jhoomer is a kind of dance form which is popular for its fervor and enthusiasm.

This dancing style was developed in the Multan and Balochistan region and spread progressively throughout Punjab. 

The word “Jhoom” means slowly swaying.

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This style of dancing is rhythmic and slow. 

While dancing, the artists mostly concentrate on love and feelings. 

Among Punjabi traditional dances, this one is highly admired and loved by all, particularly for its grace and elegance.

These are some of the popular folk dances of Punjab, India.

The folk dances are the token of energy and enthusiasm of Punjab’s vibrant youth. 

With the drumbeat or the rhythm of folk musical instruments, the spontaneous spirit of the people also awakens.

These dance styles of Punjab are full of foreign influences too.


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