The culture of Punjab derives its basis from the institution of sufi saints. The sufi saints spread Islam and preached and lived the Muslim way of life. People have the funs and festivities to commemorate these traditions. The fairs and festivals of Punjab reflect the entire gamut of its folk life and cultural traditions. These mainly fall in three categories consisting of (i) religious & seasonal fairs/festivals, (ii) devotional fairs or Urs and (iii) industrial and commercial fairs.
Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Muharram, Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Eid-ul-Fithr, Eid-ul-Azha and Shab-e-Brat. The main activities on these special occasions are confined to congregational prayers and rituals. Melas are also held to mark these occasions.
The fairs held at the shrines of Sufi saints are called Urs. They generally mark the death anniversary of the saint. On these occasions devotees assemble in large numbers and pay homage to the memory of the saint. Soul inspiring music is played and devotees dance in ecstasy. The music on these occasions is essentially folk and appealing. It forms a part of the folk music through mystic messages. The most important Urs are: Urs of Data Ganj Bukhsh at Lahore, Urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, Urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, Urs of Hazrat Bahaudin Zakria at Multan, Urs of Sakhi Sarwar Sultan at Dera Ghazi Khan, Urs of Shah Hussain at Lahore, Urs of Hazrat Bullehe Shah at Kasur and Urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad.
A big fair is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the Mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his work known as Heer Ranjha.
Exhibitions and Annual Horse Shows in all Districts and National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore are held with the official patronage. National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronizes agricultural products and livestock through the exhibitions of agricultural products and cattle but is also a colorful documentary on the rich cultural heritage of the Province with its strong rural roots.