Baisakhi is an Indian festival of Sikhs that is celebrated in Punjab and other parts of the world with much fanfare and jubilation. The whole festival is a riot of colors and frivolous energy that takes to the streets of India. The festivities of Baisakhi are something you have never seen before. If you too want to experience the fanfare and extravaganza, here is all you need to know about one of the most popular festivals in Punjab.
Why do we celebrate Baisakhi?
Baisakhi is the onset of a new year for Sikhs. Why Sikh celebrate Vaisakhi is because it is marked as the birth of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru and founder of Khalsa Panth. It is one of the most important days in the Sikh religion. Khalsa Panth was founded in the year 1699 on this day which is now celebrated all over the world as Baisakhi with a lot of joy and enthusiasm.
Why do farmers celebrate Baisakhi?
While it is a new year for Sikhs, it is also the beginning of the harvest season of rabi crop in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. Agriculture is the lifeline of the northwest region of India. On the day of Baisakhi, farmers show their gratitude for the bountiful produce to the Almighty and pray for a prosperous year and good times ahead. In a way, Baisakhi to Indian farmers is what Thanksgiving is to Americans.
When is Baisakhi 2019?
According to Nanakshahi calendar, the first day of Vaisakhi month (April-May) is when Baisakhi is celebrated. This year, it will be celebrated on 14th April i.e. Sunday
How is Baisakhi celebrated?
Baisakhi is celebrated in Punjab and all over the world with much gusto. Special prayer meetings are held and grand processions are taken out on the road. These processions are the emulation of the foundation of Khalsa Panth in 1699 by the five beloved or ‘Panj Pyare’. Farmers wake up early in the morning to take a ritual bath in the pond before they visit Gurudwara Temple to offer their prayers. Kadha Prasad is distributed and Langar services or community dining are held in Gurudwaras where people sit in rows and enjoy the pious food.
Fairs and carnivals are also organized on the day of Baisakhi in which people take part with much fervor and zeal. The beats of Dhol reverberates the skies. The energetic group dance performances of Gidda and Bhangra are given by a group of young men and women. Khalsa community puts up a great spectacle of acrobatics and wrestling bouts. The whole atmosphere exudes of vibrancy and gaiety. There are food stalls and shops at the carnival too from where you can taste lip-smacking street food and even buy trinkets for yourself.
If you want to be the part of Baisakhi festivities, you should make a visit to Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. The whole temple is celebrated like a bride shining with lights and major events are planned for the entire day. Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, is taken out and given a symbolic bath with milk and water before it is put on the throne with care.
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