Festival of harvest: Baisakhi

Festival of harvest: Baisakhi

Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi, is a major festival celebrated in North India, particularly in the state of Punjab. It is celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April every year, marking the beginning of the Sikh New Year and the harvest season. Baisakhi holds great significance for the Sikh community. It marks the day when the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, founded the Khalsa Panth, a community of baptized Sikhs.

Baisakhi celebration
Baisakhi celebration

How Baisakhi is celebrated?

The celebrations of Baisakhi start with people taking an early morning bath in rivers or other water bodies. It is followed by a visit to the local Gurudwara. The Gurudwara is decorated with flowers, and the Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, is read and recited by the devotees. The Gurudwara is also the site of the langar, a community meal where all are welcome to partake, regardless of caste, religion, or social status.

The main highlight of Baisakhi is the Nagar Kirtan, a grand procession that takes place in the streets. It is led by the Panj Pyare, the five beloved ones who were the first to be initiated into the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh. The Nagar Kirtan is accompanied by the sound of the dhols. The beats of which are said to evoke the spirit of celebration and joy.

Baisakhi celebration
Baisakhi celebration

Another important aspect of Baisakhi is the bhangra and gidda dance performances. Bhangra is a lively, energetic dance form performed by men, while gidda is a traditional dance form performed by women. Both dance forms are accompanied by the sound of the dhol and the Punjabi folk songs.

In addition to the cultural celebrations, Baisakhi is also a time for farmers to celebrate the harvest season. People wear new clothes and exchange greetings and sweets with family and friends. The festival is also an occasion for buying and selling new goods, and the markets are filled with vendors selling colorful bangles, jewelry, and other trinkets.

Celebration of Baisakhi in abroad

Baisakhi is also celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world. In countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, where there is a significant Sikh population, Baisakhi is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. The celebrations include cultural performances, kirtans, and processions, and are attended by people from all walks of life.

In conclusion, Baisakhi is a festival that celebrates the spirit of harvest, community, and faith. It is a time for people to come together, forget their differences, and celebrate the abundance of nature. The festival is an important reminder of the values of unity, compassion, and brotherhood that are central to the Sikh faith, and to humanity as a whole.

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