All You Need to Know About the Festival That Marks the Harvest Season

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Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is one of the most popular harvest festivals in India. It is mainly a Sikh festival celebrated especially in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh with great zeal and enthusiasm. It also marks the commencement of the Sikh new year and Sikhs pay tribute to their tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. However, this year’s celebration will be very different from the earlier celebrations due to the rise in coronavirus cases as several states as Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have imposed restrictions like night curfews and weekend lockdowns.

Here is all you need to know about the festival:

Baisakhi is generally celebrated on April 13 or April 14 every year. This year the festival will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 13.

Significance of Baisakhi: The third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das, chose Baisakhi to be celebrated by the Sikhs. Also, in 1699, the Mughals publicly beheaded the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur. And in the same year on the eve of Baisakhi, his son, Guru Gobind Rai or Guru Gobind Singh, rallied the Sikhs and inspired them through his words and actions.

The festival is observed as the coronation of Guru Gobind Singh, as well as the foundation of the Khalsa Panth of Sikhism.

Celebration of Baisakhi:On the eve of Baisakhi, Sikhs participate in Nagar Kirtans and spend their day paying their respects to the Khalsa. People also recite the sacred hymns, sing songs, and pay tribute to the Guru Granth Sahib which is the holy book of the Sikhs.

Dance performances including Bhangra and Gidda are also performed on this day. People are dressed in their best clothes and exchange sweets.

Apart from the above-mentioned activities, fairs are also organised on this day. Children and youth showcase their skills in martial arts along with the drummers and bands around, men swing swords, all these make the festival very exciting.

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