Baisakhi – Significance, Rituals & Birth Of Khalsa
The festival of Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is near and Punjab is all set to celebrate this harvest festival with much pomp, fervour and feasting. In 2023, Baisakhi will fall on April 14th. Baisakhi is a very important festival of Punjab and it marks the beginning of the new year. Baisakhi is so called because it marks ‘Baisakh’, the first month of the Bikram Sambat Hindu calendar. Baisakhi festival coincides with several regional festivals like Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year), Vishu (Kerala’s new year), and Bihu (Assamese new year).
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Importance Of Baisakhi In Sikhism: The Birth Of Khalsa
On the auspicious day of Baisakhi, the farming community thanks God for the gone by wonderful rabi crop harvest season and prays for a more bountiful season ahead. For the Sikh community, the occasion of Baisakhi is even more special and momentous. The holy festival of Baisakhi celebrates the birth of Khalsa. It was on this day, the Khalsa sect of Sikhism took birth. Khalsa, a collective body of all initiated Sikhs, was established at Kesgarh in Anandpur Sahib, by the 10th Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh in the year 1699.
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Baisakhi Fairs: Fun, Frolic And Enjoyment
If you are in Punjab around Baisakhi, make sure you visit one of the traditional Baisakhi fares. Folk dances, traditional songs and folklores make for a delightful experience. People exchange sweets and savouries and also dress up in traditional clothes during the festivities. Baisakhi fairs take place in various places, including Jammu City, Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi and Samba in the Pinjore complex near Chandigarh.
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Rituals During Baisakhi Festival
An important ritual carried out during Baisakhi is ‘Awat Pauni’. Here, people come together and harvest crops on vibrant beats of dhol and sing melodious folk songs. ‘Nagar Kirtan’, a religious procession, is another unique and integral part of the celebrations. Nagar Kirtan literally translates to the “town hymn singing”. People gather together and sing hymns and chants written in the Guru Granth Sahib -the Sikh holy book. They are led by five Khalsa who are dressed up as Panj Pyaras, who carry the holy book with them as a mark of reverence.
With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks Team
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