Celebrated among the Hindus and Sikhs, Vaisakhi is a spring harvest festival that’s celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April (Gregorian calendar) every year. The historical significance of this day is quite intriguing. It is believed that the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, established the famous Khalsa Panth on this day.
Vaisakhi in India 2020 & 2019
|Tuesday, 14 April 2020||Vaisakhi||Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab|
|Sunday, 14 April 2019||Vaisakhi||Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab|
The historical significance of Vaisakhi
The story goes that on Vaisakhi, Guru Gobind Singh challenged any Sikh who was prepared to give his life. In a crowd of about a thousand people, five people volunteered in total. The Guru, instead of killing the volunteers, baptised them with “Amrit” and formed a five-member group of saint-soldiers called “Khalsa”. These five men representing the Khalsa were known as the Five Ks signifying Kesh (hair), Katchera (underwear), Kangha (comb), Kirpan (sword), and the Kara (steel ring).
Following that fateful day, the spraying of nectar or “Amrit” has become a common practice during the ceremonial baptisation of Sikhs.
Other than the historical significance, the day also marks the ripening of the Rabi crop and is celebrated with splendour among the people of Punjab.
However, in Hinduism, Vaisakhi is observed as the New Year’s Day and is celebrated with splendour in some of the states of India.
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How Vaisakhi is celebrated in India
Gurdwaras are decorated with lights of various colours while the Sikhs organise “Nagar Kirtan”—a procession led by five Khalsa. The procession is marked by people singing hymns from the Sikh texts. Some of the bigger processions keep a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib as a show of respect.
Events that depict the true culture of Punjab are organised. Traditional folk dance or Bhangra, essentially a harvest festival dance, is quite common in these cultural events. People flock to local fairs that form an integral part of the Punjabi culture.
In other parts of India, Hindus celebrate the day as the beginning of the new year. People take a dip in the holy Ganges and other holy rivers before starting the day. Dressing up in traditional attire, indulging in local delicacies, and visiting friends’ and relatives’ houses are quite common. Vaisakhi is also considered as an auspicious day to start a new venture.
Vaisakhi is celebrated across India, albeit the names being different in different states. The festival is seen as a symbol of prosperity for all.
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Vaisakhi 2020 Celebrations
People dance, sing and wear new clothes to celebrate the festival. They enjoy watching parades that shall take place during this time. Both men and women dance. Men perform the Bangra form whereas women perform the Gidda form to celebrate the event. People prepare holiday meals and sweets and share among themselves. It has been a special day for Sikhs, who carry processions and celebrate the day with great fanaticism. Vaisakhi is grandly celebrated in Haryana and Punjab, the northern states of India.
Sikhs wake up early in the morning, take a bath, wear new dresses and make a visit to the nearest gurudwara to submit special prayers. After the common prayer, kada prasad shall be distributed to everyone present there. After that, they enjoy langa to be served by volunteers. The festival is also celebrated in schools, colleges and fields. Several events shall be conducted by schools on the day. Gurudwaras are the best places that hold the real beauty of Vaisakhi. They are completely decorated and conduct Kirtanas to attract many people. The same celebrations are expected during Vaisakhi 2020.
Rituals of Vaisakhi 2020
Gurudwaras shall be visited by Sikhs in the morning to participate in a common prayer. The Granth Sahib shall be bathed in milk. Sweets shall be distributed to attendees. The Granth Sahib shall be taken out parades by Sikhs during the afternoon hours. These are the common rituals of Vaisakhi 2019. The symbols of the festival include the Kirpan, which is sword; the Kesh, which is uncut hair; the Kara, which is steel ring; the Kangha, which is the comb; and the Katchera.
Public life on Baisakhi
Baisakhi is a very precious day for Sikhs. It is the celebration of the ‘New Year’ according to Nanakshahi calendar. On the festival day, schools and colleges shall remain closed. The commercial outlets owned by Sikhs shall also remain closed or they can have reduced operating hours. The festival has no effect on public transport. Owing to festival events, the schedule for public transport may be disturbed.
Best Places To Celebrate Vaisakhi 2020
- Amritsar: If you are in search of the best place to celebrate Vaisakhi 2020, consider visiting the city of Amritsar. In fact, it is visited by thousands of Sikhs every year. Golden Temple of the city is the place where the basis of Khalsa was laid by Guru Gobind Singh, who was the tenth Sikh guru. Visitors perform special prayers on the day.
- Delhi: Delhi, the capital city of India, hosts various events to celebrate the day. It is also visited by many people from all parts of the country. People gather at gurudwaras to perform special prayers and exchange festival greetings. Delhi also organises Vaisakhi parties. Consider this place as well.
- Punjab: If you want to see the real celebrations, consider visiting Punjab during Vaisakhi 2019. Like Delhi, the state organises dance and singing concerts. The festival meals are being served by restaurants. One must visit the state.
- Haryana: Haryana conducts a vast mela each year. Many people visit this state to take part in Vaisakhi mela, which is very famous. Besides, several competitions are organised for school kids. In the evening, singing and dance competitions are organised for adults.
- Chandigarh: Chandigarh is one of most visited destinations during this festival. Tourists visit gurudwaras of the city and pray to the God. Like Haryana, they can enjoy singing and dance concerts in the evening.
- Jalandhar: The city of Jalandhar celebrates Vaisakhi attractively. The main festivities include dancing, singing, etc. Both men and women perform folk dances. It is a treat to watch.
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Vaisakhi is a famous religious festival celebrated by the Hindu and Sikh communities. The festival usually falls on 13 or 14 April every year. Vaisakhi is also referred to as Baisakhi. For the community of Sikhs, it is considered as a harvest festival. They celebrate to honour the creation of Khalsa panth. For Hindus, Vaisakhi is an old festival and symbolises the holiness of rivers according to Hindu traditions. Though it is called by different names, the way the festival is celebrated is the same across all regions of the country.
Significance Of Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi is celebrated majorly in the north Indian states, including Himachal Pradesh, the Punjab and Uttarakhand. It holds special importance for Sikhs because of many reasons. The primary reason is that it symbolises the commencement of the solar year for them. In Punjab, it is a very important day for farmers since it is an agricultural-based state. Farmers convey thanks to the God for better crops. On 14 April 1699, Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru, established the Khalsa Panth. This is another reason.
History Of Baisakhi/Vaisakhi
Guru Amar Das was the third Sikhism guru. He chose Baisakhi as one of the three festivals to be celebrated by Sikhs. Diwali and Maha Shivaratri are other two festivals celebrated by the Sikh community. The story of the festival started with the ninth Sikh guru. Aurangzeb, the Mughal ruler, decapitated the ninth guru publicly. The Mughal ruler was willing to spread the Islamic culture in India. Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, was seen as a threat by the Mughal ruler. After the demise of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Gobind Singh, the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, became the tenth guru. In 1699, the tenth guru had chosen Vaisakhi as an event to transmute Sikhs into a soldier saint’s family, which is also called the Khalsa panth.