What is the Vaisakhi festival and why is it celebrated?   

Vaisakhi festival

Vaisakhi, also pronounced as Baisakhi, is purely the harvest festival celebrated with great joy and excitement in Punjab, the northern area of India. It not only marks the start of the Punjabi New Year but is also believed to be the period when Sikhism was born. 

Celebrated in the second month of the Hindu calendar, i.e; Vaishakh, this festival is observed every 13th or 14th of April every year. On this day, all the Punjabis pay a tribute to their 10th guru, Guru Gobind Singh which involves dance, music, delicious food items, colorful decorations, and so much more. 

Observed on the 14th of April this year, the Baisakhi festival has its own way of celebration. So, first let us know a little bit about its history. Come, let us continue reading this informational blog.

History and the reason behind celebrating Baisakhi Festival

Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, has killed the father of Guru Gobind Singh; Guru Teg Bahadur. This resulted in Gobind Singh being the next or the 10th guru of the Sikhs. So, on witnessing the miserable condition of the people around and to make them brave and encourage them to give their lives for the country, Guru Gobind Singh planned an activity. 

It so happened that back in 1699, once all the people had gathered to celebrate the Vaisakhi festival. On observing them, Guru Gobind Singh came out of his tent and with a sword asking who among the people can surrender their lives for their MotherLand. Initially, a young man stepped forward and followed Guru Gobind Singh to the tent. After some time Guru Gobind Singh came out of the tent with a bloody sword which increased the curiosity and worries of the people. 

Four more men also entered the tent and the result was the same. Everyone had thought that all the 5 men had lost their lives, but instead came out alive and wearing turbans. And all these 5 men were then known as Panj Piare or 'Beloved Five'. And it was then when Guru Gobind Singh sprinkled Amrit (sugar water) on these 5 men, said prayers, and baptized them into the Khalsa or became the first 5 members of the Khalsa. Hence, it was announced as the beginning of the new religion known as the “Khalsa Panth'', and the 5 men were taught not to fear anyone other than God. 

So let us dive deep into this informational blog and know more about the significance, its meaning, importance, and the reasons behind celebrating this amazing and auspicious festival.

How is the Vaisakhi festival celebrated?

With extreme happiness, excitement, and fervor, the Vaishaki festival celebrations begin with cleaning and decorating the Gurudwaras, and then assembling for morning prayers. Once the prayer is over, the prasad, which is basically the sweet known as ‘Kada Prasad’ is distributed among the devotees. With no discrimination among the people, Langar which is purely vegetarian food is offered around the afternoon time or lunchtime to the devotees, irrespective of their status. 

Once done, the celebration transforms towards the procession of Guru Granth Sahib that is accompanied by religious songs, hymns, chants, etc. Called the “Nagar Kirtan” in Punjabi, this procession is mainly led by the five men, i.e; the Panj Pyare, who are dressed in lovely Kesari or Saffron-colored clothes, and finally halts at a particular Gurudwara where prayers are to be offered. 

In the evening, all the Sikh families come together to perform dance performances like Bhangra and Gidda and complete the celebrations by enjoying the lip-smacking delicacies like Sarson Ka Saag, Makki di Roti, Aloo Puri, sweets, and other yummy kinds of dishes. 

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