Punjab Kushti / Wrestling
Folk Dances
Bhangra : Bangra Dance, Punjab Originated in the Western Punjab, Bhangra reflects the vigour and the cheerfulness infused among the rural folk by the promise of a bumper crop. The Bhangra season starts with the wheat sowing. On every full moon day young men, in every village, dance for hours in open fields. The dancers move around the 'dhol' drummer in a circle. As the tempo increases, their hands, their feet and their whole bodies comes into action. They whirl round and round bending and straightening their bodies alternatively, hopping on one leg, raising their hands and clapping with their handkerchiefs. Colourful clothes comprised of the flowing turbans, chadra (covering for the lower body) and long kurtas (shirts) and waistcoats make this a very attractive dance to watch. The Bhangra season concludes with the Baisakhi fair when the wheat is harvested.

Though originally a harvest dance, now a days, Bangra is performed during the festival of Baisakhi, family occasions, get-togethers and many other happy occasions. Many believe that the Bhangra dancer needs an inborn sense of rhythm; it cannot be acquired.

Giddha :
Giddha is a very vigorous folk dance of the women of Punjab performed during family and festive occasions. It has almost the same intensity as Bhangra. In Giddha, women translate bolian-verses (light-hearted satirical verse) into gestures. The folk poetry satirizes politics, the in-laws, loneliness of a young bride, evils of society and almost any other subject. The dance rhythm is set by the dhols and the distinctive hand claps of the dancers. So quick is the movement of the feet as the tempo rises that it is difficult for the spectator even to wink till the tempo falls again. The embroidered 'duppattas' and heavy jewellery of the participants further exaggerate the movements.

Jhumar :
Jhumar, originally from Sandalbar (now in Pakistan), has become very much a part of Punjab's folk heritage. It is a graceful dance based on a Jhumar rhythm. Dancers circle around the drummer and sing graceful lyrics as they dance. The Jhumar is a dance of ecstasy and a testimony of the happiness of men. Jhumar is performed in every occasion especially during Melas, weddings and other major functions and celebrations. Performed exclusively by men, the dance recreates and enacts all the functions of daily life.

Luddi: Luddi is a male dance of Punjab to celebrate a victory in any field. Luddi is performed with the drummer in the center and its costumes are simple. Only a loose shirt (kurta) and a loincloth are used. Some tie turbans, others tie a Patkas, which resumbles a scarf across the forehead. The performers place one hand at the back and the other before the face copying the movement of a snake.

Kikli :
Kikli is generally popular with the younger girls. It is more of a sport than a dance. The girls form pairs, crossing their arms, hold each other`s hands and whirl around singing folk songs. The movements gets faster and faster, the upper part of the body bends backward and the arms remain fully stretched. the spinning gathers momentum and goes on till they are exhausted. Even though they move very fast, they maintain the rhythm and keep singing various songs about various incidents connected with daily life.