Here is a list of the 4 most popular folk dances from Punjab.
Bhangra: Most prominent of folk dances from Punjab
Originally, Bhangra was devoted to onset of harvesting but later its form changed with some modernization with change in musical equipment and dancing patterns changed. The energy of Bhangra with a typical Punjabi Dhol and Jhanjhar has slowly becoming popular in all the states of India.
Costume for Bhangra is Lungi and jacket without buttons. The dancers also use Handkerchiefs of various colors. Male dancers also wear Pug (turban) which is a symbol of Punjabi pride.Women perform it with traditional Salwar- Kameez and Chunni.
Giddha is performed by young women of Punjab. The dance is a display of vigor and energy of women and has a very colorful set up. It is also not restricted to any limited occasions. On any social event, this dance can be performed. The costume is common household stuff with some light ornaments. The dance style of Giddha is jerking the shoulders and bending the lower portion of the body. Clapping also supports this dance as musical instrument. The dance does not use any musical instruments.
Performed in a large circle, the singing of Giddha is called “Boli or Biloyan’ with normally emotional wordings being used. The dance is a family show where all the women create a scenic performance with normal singing and dancing.
Jhumar is known for its liveliness and enthusiasm. It originated from Balochistan and Multan regions. The dance is rhythmic and slow in tempo. The word Jhumar is derived from “Jhoom” meaning gently swaying. The theme of the performances is usually love and other emotions. It is also sometimes referred to as the “ecstasy dance”. The dance recreates animal movements, field ploughing, seed sowing and harvesting and other such events in the performance.
There are many types of Jhumar like Satluj Jhumar, Chenab Jhumar, Beas Jhumar and Multani Jhumar. This dance is very popular among the folk dances from Punjab and is especially known for its grace and elegance.
Malwai Giddha is one of the popular folk dances of Punjab performed usually by bachelors of the region. It originated in areas like Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozpur, Fardikot, Mansa, Sangrur and Patiala Districts. The dance uses a wide array of musical instruments like Chimta/tongs which is South Asia’s traditional percussion musical instrument, often used in well-liked Punjabi Giddha and Bhangra music. Dholaki is another instrument used in the performance.