Saturday , 13 April 2024
Saturday , 13 April 2024


  • 12 Oct, 2022

Giddha - Colourful and energetic dance of Punjab

Giddha can be aptly described as energetic, powerful, spirited and vivacious dance form. It is the most popular folk dances in India. It is a regional dance of Punjab where it is performed and dominated by females. Bhangra and Giddha originated in the 1800s in the Punjab region of India by the farmers. Initially both the dance forms were celebrated during the time of the harvest called Baisakhi or Vaisakhi. In the mid-1800s both the dance forms started to gain popularity outside of Punjab as well and began to be celebrated beyond the agricultural field and emerged as a regular feature of wedding festivities, marriage celebrations and events. Giddha is basically performed in a circle and is filled energetic movements which takes its inspiration from the ancient ring dance. Rhythmic clapping and bright colours complement the traditional songs to transform the dance into a spontaneous display of joy. 

The attire worn by the women is brighter than the everyday clothes and is teamed up with heavy jewellery. The dress includes the salwar kameez and dupatta. The salwar kameez is generally vibrant in colour and is heavily embroidered. There are occasions where women choose to wear lehenga choli which is a long skirt and short kameez with a dupatta. The dupatta is also decorated with gotta patti and other stones to make it look attractive. The whole costume of Giddha is incomplete without the jewellery. It includes tikka for the forehead, jhumkas or earrings for the ears, raani haar for the neck, anklets or payal for the ankles and baazu band which are for the upper arm. Women also wear colourful bangles and nose ring. For the hair accessories, women wear the paranda also known as the braid tassel. The paranda is the vital part of a Giddha costume and cannot be missed by any chance. 

Giddha is a very vigorous dance and mostly involves legs work. The movement of the feet in it is faster than the other body parts and does not give a chance to audience to even wink for a second till the tempo falls again. One of the women generally sings the bolis and when the end part except for one line is reached, the tempo of the song rises and all start dancing together to end the boli. In this way the bolis are in sync with the dance which continues for a considerable period of time. The songs are mostly related to day to day affairs where the women tease each other and mimic the part of an aged bridegroom, quarrelsome sister-in-law and another a humble bride. All this is done in a light mood without hurting the sentiments. Today in India, Giddha is mostly performed in Punjab but is quite popular abroad also. 

Giddha dance is stylistically very simple with just jingle of the bells and thumping of the feet along with the beat of the drum and live singing by the women themselves. This dance form translates the daily routine, stories of myths, love affairs, politics etc. by the women in Punjab beautifully into words and dance steps. The Giddha is performed by women and young girls on family and festival occasions. Dhol, tumbi and ghumru are the musical instruments used for Giddha which provide the rhythm for the dance. 

Giddha is not performed according to any rigid sequences and is free-style, spontaneous and creative. Punjabi culture is filled with vibrancy and enthusiasm where people love to express themselves with full power and intensity. Giddha has evolved over the period of time and the male version is known as Malwai Giddha. Traditionally this dance form was performed by only females but recently, professionally trained men and women perform the male and female version of this dance respectively.

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