Jalandhar, though predominantly a Sikh district, also accommodates people following various religious faiths including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism and so on. The main languages spoken in Jalandhar other than the state language Punjabi are Hindi and English. As Jalandhar falls in the Doab Region, the dialect of Punjabi spoken here is called Doabi wherein B is spoken in place of V. Since Jalandhar is a city of Printing Presses, writers from different parts of Punjab have settled here. A lot has been written about the devastating aftereffects of the partition of 1947. The writers from Jalandhar mainly write in Punjabi and Gurmukhi Script. One of the greatest Punjabi writers Kartar Singh Duggal apart from significantly contributing to the Punjabi Literature is also credited for bringing All India Radio to Jalandhar.
Jalandhar, a prototypical Punjabi city lays down a banquet of delectable Punjabi cuisine for her visitors which includes Makke di Roti, Sarson ka Saag, Rumali Roti, Naan, Kulcha, Punjabi Chhole, Dal Makhni, Shahi Paneer, Kadhai Paneer, Palak Paneer, Mutter Paneer, Malai Kofta, Malai Tikka, Reshmi Tikka, Rajma – Chawal, Stuffed Vegetable Punjabi Parantha, Punjabi Lachha Parantha, Baingan da Bhurtha, Kadhi, Punj Ratani Dal, Rongi, Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, Chicken Biriyani, Cream Chicken, Chicken Tikkas, Chilly Chicken, Tandoori Fish, Fish Tikka, Bhuna Ghosht, Lamb Biriyani, Rogan Josh, Beef Karahi, Seekh Kehbab, Keema Naans, Pork Pickle, Baalushahi, Roh Di Kheer, Malpua, Jalebi, Sheer Korma, Lassi, Kulfi, Gol Gappas and many more mouth watering dishes.
Jalandhar has made a mark at the national front in manufacturing sports goods and leather items. Furthermore, this city is also famous amongst the tourists for traditional salwar suits, Punjabi Jutis, Parandis, Phulkaris, Durries, Peedhis, a wide range of jewellery, handloom and handicraft articles, quilts, blankets, ornate woodwork and other traditional Punjabi articles.
The culture of Jalandhar is particularly made alive with its prismatic spectrum of the vast array of fairs and festivals. The vigorous and enthusiastic Punjabis are very fond of rejoicing and merry making. People from all communities congregate and enjoy to their hearts content at the times of such celebrations. The most important festival of Punjabi culture is Baisakhi which is celebrated commemorating the foundation anniversary of Khalsa Panth. Khalsa was established in the year 1699 at Anandpur Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh. The additional significance of Baisakhi is the beginning of harvest season. The other two fairs typical of Jalandhar culture are Harballabh Sangeet Mela and The Fair of Baba Sodal.
Harballabh Sangeet Mela celebrated from 27th December to 30th December every year is a famous festival of Jalandhar that is held in the remembrance of Swami Harballabh, the revered Saint – Musician of Jalandhar. Organized adjacent to the tomb of the saint at Devi Talab, this fair beckons the masters of Indian Classical Music, both instrumental and vocal from all corners of the country. A rare feast of music is thrown for the music lovers at the time of Harballabh Sangeet Mela. People from all over the India throng Jalandhar at the time of this fair. Even Mahatma Gandhi was totally galvanized by this festival. There will hardly be a classical singer who has not yet visited the Harballabh Sangeet Mela. There is no admission fee charged at the fair and even accommodation is provided for free here.
The Fair of Baba Sodal is celebrated in the honor of Sodal, a small boy who was worshipped as a Baby God. This fair is organized on the death anniversary of Baba Sodal, which falls in the month of September, at his Samadhi Sthan. At the time of the festival, worships are offered at the Samadhi. The painted portrait of Baba Sodal placed beside the Samadhi is adorned with numerous garlands and a separate priest is appointed to take care of the Portrait. A water tank set up alongside the Samadhi is called Baba Sodal Da Sarowar. This Sarowar is believed to be extremely sacred by the devotees and they sprinkle the water from this Sarowar on their body or take a dip into the holy water and feel fortunate. People from all different religious backgrounds throng Jalandhar to attain this one day fair. Pilgrims from Punjab, Hariyana, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi are amongst the major arrivals here.
Jalandhar doesn’t remain at the back in the field of dancing as well. Some of the major Punjabi folk dances widely enjoyed here include Bhangra, Jhumar, Gatka, Sammi, Gidda, Luddi, and many more. Out of these, Bhangra is a special dance for men while Gidda is an exclusive dance for women.