Vaisakhi or Baisakhi is one of the most loved Punjabi festivals. It is the spring harvest festival celebrated on 13 or 14 of April every year. This day is also commemorating the formation of Khalsa Panth by the tenth guru of the Sikh community Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Want to know more about this historical festival, keep reading!
Vaisakhi's word comes from the Punjabi calendar month of Vaisakh. It is the second month of the Sikh Calendar. Vaisakhi festival marks the beginning of spring month and farmers of Punjab harvest their wheat crop this month which brings happiness and prosperity to their lives. Let's learn about the significance of this Punjabi festival and why is it celebrated with such enthusiasm?
Significance of Baisakhi Festival
Baisakhi is celebrated as the day when Sikhism was born as a collective faith. In 1699, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh chose this festival as a time to establish 'Khalsa Panth'. Khalsa is a name given to the Sikhs who have been baptized. Let's tell you this story in brief.
Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb was a very cruel king of that time. He murdered Guru Gobind Singh's father to stop the growth of the religion so he decided to infuse passion and courage in the community. Tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave an inspirational speech and called upon volunteers to give their life for the cause. Listening to this, 5 men from the crowd came forward for the same. Each of them followed Guruji and he returned with fresh blood dripping from the sword, seeming like he killed them one by one. Although, in the end, it was a goat who was slaughtered and all the five men were alive.
Holy water called ‘Amrit’ was prepared by Guru Gobind Singh Ji and given to these 5 brave men, this holy water was considered to make them 'pure souls'. They were instructed to wear 5 Kakars-
- Kesh- uncut hair
- Kanga- comb
- Kara- metal bracelet
- Kirpan- a sword
- Kachera- cotton undershorts
The Amrit Sanchar or Amrit Sanskar remains the same from centuries. So, on the Vaisakhi festival, many people drink this holy water ‘Amrit Shakna’ and become baptized and call themselves a 'Guru ka Sikh'.
How Do Punjabis Celebrate Vaisakhi Festival?
The Nagar Kirtans are organized at various Gurudwaras which march through the streets by chanting holy hymns. Gatka (a form of martial arts) can also be seen performing at these Nagar Kirtans. Not only in Punjab but Gurudwaras in Canada, the USA and other countries also organize Nagar Kirtans on Baisakhi celebration. People wear Punjabi Ethnic Clothes and visit Gurugarhs to seek blessings on this day.
Vaisakhi Fairs are also very famous and can be seen in many parts of the world. People dress up their finest and wear Traditional Punjabi Jewelry and Suits to visit these fairs. There are numerous stalls selling handicrafts, sweets and other items. Along with this, there are swings for children and adults too. You can also listen to various Punjabi Singers at these fairs.