The name ‘Chappar’’ comes from the Chappar Village located in the beautiful north Indian state of Punjab. ChapparMela is a celebratory event in the same village, located in the Ludhiana district of the state of Punjab. It is celebrated every year in the month of September and this year in 2017, it will be observed on the 15th of September. It is an event celebrated in the memory of GuggaPir in Punjab. GuggaPir is a folk deity in the states of Rajasthan and Punjab, who is venerated for protection against snake bites—which in the ancient history, used to be one of the most common reasons for untimely deaths. While the folk deity is addressed as GuggaPir in Punjab, Haryana, as well as Himachal Pradesh, in Rajasthan, they refer to it as Gogaji. The festival of ChapparMela happens to be one of the most popular and most cherished festivals in the entire Malwa belt of the state of Punjab in India.
According to the traditional Hindu calendar, this mela (fair) every year takes place on the fourth day of the month of Bhadrapad, and going by that, as per the Gregorian calendar this year, it falls on the 15th of September. On this day, people worship the snake embodiment of the GuggaPir deity in the mela. If local history is to be considered, then it is believed that the observance and celebration of the ChhapparMeladates back to over 150 people, when only a few devotees together had started this celebration, however, over the years, the number of people coming forward to be a part of this fair has only increased and as on today, it touches millions.
No doubt, this is one of the grandest fairs celebrated in Indian culture, in recent times, a decade to be precise, which is full of dance, music, food, and a lot of other exciting cultural events, alongside certain rituals—one of which is, digging the land, as it is believed doing so would bring the folk deity, GuggaPir, who would protect one and all from venomous snakes.
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