Ancient Punjabi Culture during the period of the Indus valley civilization is one of high sophistication and many world firsts, such as the world's first planned cities and is a counterpart of ancient Chinese, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Greek cultures. Scholars believe, at its peak, it surpassed the sophistication and cultural achievements of its counterpart fellow cultures of that time, to become the world's leading advanced civilization.
The folklore traditions and legends link Punjab to e.g. Ramayan through Lahore (Luv), Kasur (Kush) and Khemkaran (where Sita forgave Ram). The medieval period saw the birth and rise of a new world-religion in Punjab, Sikhism. This had a dramatic effect on the Punjabi culture and gave it added dimensions of self-sacrifice and martialism. The Modern Punjabi culture is marked both by richness and variety exhibited in all walks of Punjabi life. The Punjabi festivals have a special significance in its rich heritage, bringing together the people in a spirit of love and harmony and of celebrating it collectively, in an atmosphere of sharing and caring, forgetting all distinctions of caste, creed and religion. The numerous fairs and festivals like Diwali of Amritsar, Maghi of Muktsar, Hola Mohalla of Anandpur Sahib, Basant Panchami, Karva Chauth and Raksha Bandhan signify both the religious and secular traditions of Punjabi life. Modern Punjabi life continues to be intimately intertwined with agriculture celebrated through Baisakhi, the harvest festival.
Any description of Punjabi culture is incomplete as long as the dance and music traditions of Punjab are not mentioned. Bhangra and Gidda are world famous and are irresistible to any one of any age or sex from any nook or corner of the world. The spirit of Punjabi boy and girl is amply exhibited by the pop element of the Bhangra and Gidda as also by their apparel and jewelry, the kaintha and the jhanjar. The Punjabi cuisine, the Makke di roti and Sarson da saag and the Makhan and lassi are no less irresistible than the Punjabi dance and music.
Due to the large Punjabi diaspora dispersed throughout the world many people are increasingly experiencing the Punjabi culture and getting influenced by it the world over. Traditional Punjabi culture is being strengthened and expanded in the Western world e.g. U.S., UK, EU, Canada and Australia etc. The added pop touch borrowed from Western cultures lends even more color to Punjabi culture as it continues to thrive.