Baisakhi – Punjab’s harvest festival and new year – has a fascinating history. Punjabis and Sikhs are the majority of those who practice it. Vaisakhi, or Vasakhi, is one of the three Hindu festivals chosen by Guru Amar Das to be observed by Sikhs.
also marks the start of the Punjabi new year. It falls on Baisakh, the first month of the Bikram Sambat Hindu Calendar, and is also known as Baisakhi.
In Bengal, this day is known as Naba Barsha, in Tamil Nadu as Puthandu, in Assam as Rongali Bihu, and in Bihar as Vaisakha.
This festival is particularly significant for Sikhs because it commemorates the founding of the Khalsa Panth in Sikhism. This day is also significant from an astrological standpoint.
The Five Beloved-Ones represented the Khalsa, which was the united body of all initiated Sikhs (or the Panj Piare in Punjabi).
It is also known as the Guru Panth, or the Guru’s embodiment. The formation of the Khalsa nation gave rise to three important aspects of Sikhism: the Khalsa civilization, the Sikh style, and the method of putting Guru Nanak’s philosophy into practice.
When Is Baisakhi In 2021?
Baisakhi in 2021 will be observed on Thursday, 15 April.
Significance Of Baisakhi
The Importance of Baisakhi for the Hindu Community
Baisakhi is the first day of the traditional solar New Year, according to legend. On this day, Hindus visit temples, pray, meet and greet friends and relatives, eat delicious food, and dress up in new clothes to commemorate the beginning of the Hindu calendar year.
Around this time, the harvest is finished and ready to be sold, and farmers all over the world celebrate the beginning of the ripening season. Baisakhi is known by various names in different parts of India, but the celebrations are nearly identical. The following are the names given to this festival in various Indian states:
Assam’s Rongali Bihu
In Odisha, Maha Vishuva Sankranti is celebrated.
In West Bengal, Pohela Boishakh or Naba Barsha is celebrated, while in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, Tripura Ugadi is celebrated.
Bikhu or Bikhauti among the Tulu people in Kumaon, Uttarakhand
Tamil Nadu’s Puthandu
Kerala celebrates Vishu.
Some of these festivals take place on the same day as Baisakhi, while others take place a day or two later.
The Importance of Baisakhi for the Sikh Community
Baisakhi is a Hindu festival, not a Buddhist one, as many people believe. Guru Amar Das, the Sikh guru, chose it, along with the other two festivals of Diwali and Makar Sankranti, for the Sikhs. Baisakhi marks the start of the New Year in Sikhism, just as it does in Hinduism, and is thus a day of celebration.
Aside from that, Baisakhi is also a harvest festival in Punjab, as the Rabi crop ripens around this time in the province. Farmers give thanks to God for the harvest and hope for more in the future.
This day is also significant for Sikhs since it marks the beginning of the Sikh order following the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, who refused Mughal Emperor Auangzeb’s order to convert to Islam. The establishment of the Khalsa Panth and the coronation of their tenth Guru followed.
History Of Baisakhi
The martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, who was publicly beheaded by Aurungzeb, is the origin of the Baisakhi festival. The Mughal Emperor decided to spread Islam across India, and Guru Tegh Bahadur fought for Hindu and Sikh rights. He was seen as a hazard as a result of this. Guru Gobind Singh succeeded Guru Teg Bahadur as the Sikhs’ next Guru after his death.
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, chose Vaisakhi in 1699 as the occasion to convert the Sikhs into the Khalsa Panth, a family of soldier saints. At Anandpur Sahib, he established the Khalsa in front of thousands of people.
Guru Gobind Singh emerged from a tent with a sword during the Baisakhi festival. He challenged any Sikh willing to lay down his life to enter the tent. With his sword soaked in blood, the Guru returned alone. He then asked for another volunteer and repeated the process four times more until all five men had vanished into the tent. The crowd was alarmed when they saw five men wearing turbans with the Guru return.
The Panj Piare, or ‘Beloved Five,’ was the name given to this group of five persons. The Guru then baptized the men into the Khalsa.
The festivities begin with people bathing in a sacred river and visiting Gurudwaras, the most important of which are Amritsar’s Golden Temple, Anandpur Sahib’s Gurudwara, and Talwandi Sabo, where Guru Gobind Singh recompiled the sacred Guru Granth Sahib. Following the prayers, everybody joins in the merriment, dancing and singing. As gleeful farmers celebrate a bountiful harvest, the iconic term ‘JattaAayi Baisakhi’ is proclaimed loudly in neighborhoods.
Traditional Karah Prasad (a semolina concoction made with wheat, clarified butter, and sugar) is a rare delicacy. People gather for lunch at the Gurudwaras’ guru-ka-langur (community kitchen) and, after a communal meal, participate in grand processions of Nagar Kirtan, in which devotional songs are performed.