Baisakhi is observed in Punjab by the Sikhs. In 2017, it will be marked on 14th of April. It is the Sikh New Year as per our Hindu Solar Calendar. It is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of Khalsa. Farmers celebrate this festival to thank God for the good harvesting of crops. Want to know more about this occasion? If yes, read on..
The very word Baisakhi is derived from the Hindu month of Vaisakha (April-May), a time when the farmer returns home with his bumper crop that is a reward for all that he has put in .The skies of Punjab and Haryana echo the call of joy that says "Jatta aai Baisakhi". This colourful festival becomes all the more colourful with people of Punjab attired in their traditional clothes breaking into the energetic Bhangra dance to express their joy.
Baisakhi is in a way a day of thanksgiving by farmers who pray for good and happy times and thanks God for the abundant harvest. It is New Year in Punjab and Haryana which is celebrated with dancing and singing and by enjoying the good food and great time. Gifts are exchanged with near dear ones on this auspicious festival. These gifts are nothing but a token of love, trust and brotherhood at the arrival of Harvest season.
Local contest like that of the dancers and drummers are organized to challenge each other and in this way there is celebration all around. The scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops are expressed through zestful movements of the body with people dancing to the tune of folk music. To add to the festive mood fairs are organized at various places in Punjab, where besides other recreational activities people indulge in eating all kinds of delicacies. Festivities such as the Bhangra dance by men, who pound the ground with vigorous steps accompanied by singing. Women also break into revelry of dances, principally the Gidda dance, executed to perfection.
The occasion is celebrated with great gusto at Talwandi Sabo; where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nine months and completed the recompilation of the Guru Granth Sahib. The Sikhs celebrate this day by visiting Gurdwaras and distributing Kada Prasad. Processions led by the Panj Piaras or the five religious men are taken out. Kirtans and recital of passages from the Granth Sahib are also organized in Gurdwaras, where people line up to receive the delicious prasad and perform Kar Sewa-that is, offering help in the daily chores of the Gurdwara.
Significance of Baisakhi
- Baisakhi has a special meaning for the Sikhs. On this day in 1699, their tenth Guru Gobind Singh organized the order of the Khalsa and administered amrit (nectar) to his first batch of five disciples making them Singhs, a martial community.
- On this day in 1875, Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj-a reformed sect of Hindus who are devoted to the Vedas for spiritual guidance and have discarded idol worship.
- This day is once again of immense religious import to the Buddhists because Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment and Nirvana on this auspicious day.
The Baisakhi Mela is not restricted to Punjab, there are Sikhs and Punjabis staying in other parts of the world too so it's celebrated all over the globe. The Baisakhi fairs organized abroad also witness the presence of Indian singers and actors. It is the major high level of energy and excitement that pulls people towards the mela. Culture and community barriers are pushed away for everyone to be a part of this celebration. The Baisakhi mela celebrations are open for everyone irrespective of whom you are and where you come from.