Baisakhi: History and significance of the harvest festival

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Vaisakhi means the festival of Vaishakh month.
On this day, bathing in the Ganges river is of great importance. On this special day, a huge fair is held in Haridwar and Rishikesh. This festival is also called the equatorial solstice. Baisakhi is traditionally celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year in Punjab. This festival is very important for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikh people. On the first day of Vaishakh, many New Year festivals like Jud Sheetal, Pohela Bosakh, Bohag Bihu, Vishu, Puthandu are celebrated in many regions of the entire Indian subcontinent.

Table of contents

1. Main act of the day of Baisakhi
2. History of Baisakhi
3. Significance of Baisakhi festival
4. Baisakhi: Harvest festival
5. Beginning of New year for Sikhs

Main act of the day of Baisakhi

  1. On this day, the traditional dance of Punjab is performed Bhangra and Gidda.
  2. People gather around the fire in the evening to celebrate the new harvest.
  3. Devotees all over the country gather in Gurdwaras for Ardas.The main ceremony of this day takes place at Anandpur Sahib, where the foundation of the Khalsa panth was laid. In the morning at 4 o’clock , the Guru Granth Sahib is ceremonially brought out of the hall.
  4. After taking a symbolic bath with milk and water, the Guru Granth Sahib is placed on the throne. After this, the Panch Pyare sings ‘Panchbani’. After the Ardas in the day, Kada Prasad is offered.
  5. After taking the prasad, everyone joins the ‘Langar’ of the Guru. Devotees perform kar seva on this day. Shabads, Kirtans are sung throughout the day in honor of Guru Gobind Singh and Panch Pyaras Sahib Ji.

History of Baisakhi

It is a law of nature that whenever there is a culmination of any oppression, injustice, tyranny, then there is also birth of reason to solve it or its remedy.

So, when the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb crossed every limit of oppression, injustice and atrocities, Shri Guru Tegh Bahadurji was martyred at Chandni Chowk in Delhi, only then Guru Gobind Singh Ji established the Khalsa Panth with aim to be ready for the neki (goodness).

People who had become weak, who had been affected by old customs, had become cowardly due to centuries of political and mental slavery. Guruji bestowed his blessings over the people who were considered to be of low caste, whom the society considered despised, and made them lion by making them drink the holy nectar. Thus, on April 13, 1699, the tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji ended the tyranny by establishing the Khalsa Panth at Shri Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur.
He decorated people of all castes who tasted the nectar with the same nectar pot (bate).

Significance of Baisakhi

The Baisakhi festival has its origin in the Punjab province of India and is celebrated as the success of the beginning of the harvesting of the Rabi crop.

Apart from Punjab and Haryana, the festival of Baisakhi is also of great importance in North India. Harvesting of wheat, oilseeds, sugarcane etc. begins on this day.

Baisakhi: Harvest Festival

Vaisakhi is the harvest festival for the people of Punjab. In Punjab, Vaisakhi marks the ripening of the Rabi crop. This day is celebrated by the farmers as a thanksgiving day, the farmers thank God for the abundant harvest and also pray for future prosperity.

New year for Sikhs

Vaisakhi has traditionally been the Sikh New Year.

The creation of the Khalsa calendar begins on the day of Khalsa-1 Vaisakh 1756 Vikrami (30 March 1699). It is celebrated all over the Punjab region.

Sikh communities organize processions called nagar kirtan (literally “city hymn singing”). It is headed by five Khalsa, who are dressed as Panj Pyare and take out processions on the streets.

Writing credits – Aman Brar