KHALSA DI FATEH- The Vaisakhi Festival

by Shatika, April 13, 2016

Vaisakhi is the holiest day in the Sikh calendar. Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) is the festival which celebrates the foundation of the faith of the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa. It is going to be celebrated on April 13 this year. On Vaisakhi day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh summoned Sikhs from all over India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, the Guru called upon Sikhs to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion.

Vaisakhi Celebration

The Vaisakhi harvest celebration is an occasion of dancing, singing, music, wearing of new clothes in yellow colour as yellow is the colour of fields and harvesting has been done the farmers pockets are heavy and they are thankful to god and all sing songs in religious fervour. The festival marks the start of the New Year in the Nanakshahi solar calendar and recognizes the Sikh religious faith. As this was also the day when the khalsa was formed by Guru Gobind Singh in a gurudwara in Anandpur which  is today known as Anandpur Saheb.

VAISAKHI AND ITS CELEBRATION

Many people in India celebrate Vaisakhi by dancing, singing, dressing in festive finery, observing wrestling bouts, fair’s and enjoy many procession’s, that take place at this time. Men dance the Bhangra and women dance the Gidda to celebrate this event. People enjoy the special food cooked or go to the gurudwara to have langar and do seva and have kada prasad .The festival holds special significance to Sikhs. Many Sikh’s choose to be baptized during this day, which is a very auspicious hour. During the Vaisakhi celebrations, processions called Nagar Kirtan also make their way along the streets singing hymns from the sacred book of the sikh’s, Guru Granth Sahib.

Vaisakhi is a Sikh holy day as well as a celebration of the New Year in the Nanakshahi calendar. The date falls around April 13 or 14. The festival also coincides with other new year festivals celebrated on the first day of Vaisakh 13 April, in the regions of the Assam –Bihu is celebrated, Bengal-Pohela Boishakh and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu is also celebrated. This day is also observed as a thanks giving day by farmers, where by farmers pay their tribute, to thank God for the abundant harvest and also pray for their prosperity.

festival

 

Background
Vaisakhi is also called Baisakhi. This harvest celebration takes place annually and harvesters celebrate and rejoice the New Year and the harvested crops. However, there was added meaning to the celebration in 1699 when the Khalsa Panth (type of religious warrior) organization was established during the Vaisakhi Festival.

guru gobind singh

The 10th Guru Gobind Singh asked, ‘who’, in a crowd of thousands was prepared to die for the cause of religion. Eventually five men volunteered to give their lives but the Guru Gobind Singh did not kill the men. Instead he baptised them and the men became the first five members of a group called the ‘Khalsa’. The tradition of Sikh baptism during the Vaisakhi festival originated from this historic event.

Symbols

The Sikh religion commemorates the first five men who comprised the Khalsa with five symbols of “purity and courage” called five Ks. The five Ks include the Kesh (uncut hair), the Kangha (comb), the Katcha (underwear), the Kara (steel ring), and the Kirpan (sword). are the very basis of the faith. Yellow colour symbolic of prosperity is worn on this day.

India and its diversity

Vaisakhi is also referred to as the solar new year but the vast country that we live in It is only celebrated in some regions. It coincides with in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal, Kumaon region apart from that also in Sri Lanka and Nepal. In Kerala, Vishu is celebrated in Kerala. Vishu kani is an display of flowers, grains, fruits, gold, and money are viewed early in the morning to ensure a year of happiness. The festivities also included fireworks which incidentally was the cause of the worst fire in the temple . Which has dampened the spirit in Kerala, as there has been a man made disaster. Nature has been generous but man has been over zealous in his celebration. Kollam has suffered its worst tragedy. Our hearts are with them.

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