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Baishakhi : The day to worship ‘Waheguru’

Baisakhi is a special day for Sikhs, usually celebrated on either April 13 or April 14. This year, it’s on April 13. Back in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, made it even more important by creating the Khalsa Panth, a group of Sikhs who’ve been baptized.

History of Baisakhi

Legend has it that on Baisakhi, Guru Gobind Singh asked for Sikh men willing to sacrifice for their faith. Five men went into a tent with him and disappeared. When Guru Gobind Singh came out alone with blood on his sword, the men reappeared, now known as the Panj Pyare or beloved five, and were baptized with Amrit.

Baisakhi is also linked to Buddhism, as it’s said that Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment on this day. It’s also called Mesh Sankranti, marking the start of the solar calendar when the Sun enters the Mesh Rashi. Other festivals like Pana Sankranti, Poila Baisakh, Rongali Bihu, Puthandu, Vaishakhi, and Poooram Vishu also celebrate the harvest season with different customs.

Significance of Baisakhi

Baisakhi is a time to celebrate the start of a new harvest season, especially for farmers. They pray for a good harvest and thank the lord for their livelihood. Families come together for reunions, enjoying big meals with fresh harvests. In the morning, people go to Gurudwaras, clean and decorate their homes, wear traditional clothes, and pray for a happy and successful year ahead.

Baisakhi Celebration

The fun starts early on Baisakhi with a trip to the Gurudwara, then cooking delicious food and dancing to drum beats. There are special prayers and singing at the Gurudwara, and free meals are served. People enjoy folk dances, music, and colorful shows to celebrate Punjab’s culture. A special treat is “kada prasad,” made with wheat flour, butter, and sugar. Families also make and share sweet saffron rice together.

Rituals of Baisakhi are:

Visit Gurudwara: Sikhs gather at gurudwara and pray to the gurus and gurudwara is decorated with flowers and colourful lights.

Kirtan: Sikhs join a parade in the streets. They sing, chant, and wear bright clothes. The parade is led by Panj Pyare members and includes people carrying the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, with great respect.

Bhangra and Gidda: These are traditional dances from Punjab that show happiness during harvest time.

Langar: In Gurudwaras, everyone gets together for a community meal.

Karah parshad: After prayers, people receive this special sweet food.

Take a holy dip: Some people go into rivers like the Ganges for a spiritual bath.

Exchange gifts: People give each other sweets and presents to show love.

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