Baisakhi-Joy and Happiness
Baisakhi is one of the major festivals of Sikhs and is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and gaiety in the state of Punjab and all throughout the world where there is a significant Sikh population. For the large farming community of Punjab, Baisakhi Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi Festival has tremendous religious significance as it was on a Baisakhi Day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa-the Order of the Pure Ones.
History Of Baisakhi
Guru Amar Das was the third Sikhism guru. He chose Baisakhi as one of the three festivals to be celebrated by Sikhs. Diwali and Maha Shivaratri are the other two festivals celebrated by the Sikh community. The story of the festival started with the ninth Sikh guru. Aurangzeb, the Mughal ruler, decapitated the ninth guru publicly. The Mughal ruler was willing to spread the Islamic culture in India. Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, was seen as a threat by the Mughal ruler. After the demise of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Gobind Singh, the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, became the tenth guru. In 1699, the tenth guru had chosen Vaisakhi as an event to transmute Sikhs into a soldier saint’s family, which is also called the Khalsa Panth.
Date of Baisakhi
Baisakhi Festival falls on the first day of Vaisakh month (April-May) according to Nanakshahi or Sikh Calendar. For this reason, Baisakhi is also popularly known as Vaisakhi. According to the English calendar, the date of Baisakhi corresponds to April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years. This difference in Baisakhi dates is due to the fact that the day of Baisakhi has reckoned according to the solar calendar and not the lunar calendar. The auspicious date of Baisakhi is celebrated all over India under different names and the different set of rituals and celebrations. Baisakhi date coincides with 'Rongali Bihu' in Assam, 'Naba Barsha' in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and 'Pooram Vishu' in Kerala.
People of Punjab celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with exuberance and devotion. As the festival has tremendous importance in Sikh religion, major activities of the day are organized in Gurdwaras. People wake up early to prepare for the day. Many also take bath in the holy river to mark the auspicious occasion. After getting ready people to pay a visit to their neighborhood gurdwara and take part in the special prayer meeting organized for the day. At the end of the Baisakhi ardas, congregates receive specially prepared Kara prasad or sweetened semolina. This is followed by a guru ka langar or community lunch. Later, during the day people of Sikh faith take out a Baisakhi procession under the leadership of Panj piaras. The procession moves through the major localities of the city amidst the rendition of devotional songs by the participating men, women, and children. Mock duels, bhangra, and gidda performances make the procession joyous and colourful. The Sikh or Punjabi women have two choices when it comes to getting ready for the festival. They can either wear a salwar-kameez or lehenga –choli. During the prominent festivals, there is a tradition among the Sikh community to wear the bright color outfits. Men wear the kurta, pajama or lungi and a turban on their heads.
Where is it Celebrated?
Throughout the state of Punjab, particularly in Amritsar.
Here are some of the most iconic Punjabi dishes that are a must-have in Baisakhi:
3.Gud Ka Halwa
Baisakhi procession is another prime feature of the Baisakhi celebration in India or anywhere. Also known as Nagar Kirtan, this religious procession is carried out in the entire city under the guidance of Panj Piaras (Five Beloved Ones). Be it men, women, or kid, everyone partakes in the procession with much vigour and enthusiasm. This colourful procession looks quite enchanting with people dancing around, dhol playing, and folk dances.