Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Baisakhi Regional Celebrations

Baisakhi Regional Celebrations

 Auspicious day of Baisakhi is celebrated in various regions of India by different names and different rituals. This is because the day of Baisakhi holds special significance for Hindus along with Sikhs. For Hindus, April 13th mark the time for New Year and they celebrate the day with rituals like bathing, partying and worshipping. Another legend associated with the day is that Goddess Ganga descended to earth thousands of years ago on this day. Many Hindus therefore celebrate the day in the honor of Goddess Ganga by taking a sacred dip in the river Ganga.
preparing field for a wheat crop before celebrating Vaisakhi harvest festival

Regional celebrations of Baisakhi are marked as Rongali Bihu in Assam, Naba Barsha in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Vishu in Kerala and Vaishakha in Bihar. In a relatively much different form, Baisakhi celebrations are marked in the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh. Here, Baisakhi is celebrated twice a year in the months of Vaishakha (April-May) and Kartika (November). People celebrate Baisakhi by worshipping Goddess Jwalamukhi and paying tribute to the deity’s idol near a popular hot spring that issues flames.

These different regional ways of celebrating Baisakhi reflect on India’s pluralistic tradition and her rich cultural heritage. Regional celebrations of Baisakhi also portray the unity of people of India in spite of the social, cultural and linguistic differences.

A depiction of Guru Gobind Singhinitiating the first five members of theKhalsa

About Baisakhi festival

Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is a harvest festival, Punjabi New Year and commemoration of the founding of the Khalsa (also known as Khalsa Sirjana Diwas), all rolled into one occasion.
In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh (the 10th Sikh Guru) decided to put an end to the tradition of Gurus in Sikhism. He declared the Granth Sahib (holy scripture) to be the eternal Sikh Guru. He then formed the order of the Khalsa by selecting five fearless leaders of his followers, who were ready to lay down their lives to save others.
Vaisakhi parade in Surrey, BC, Canada

When is Baisakhi festival celebrated?

April 13-14 every year
A band performs at Vaisakhi day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur (2013).

Baisakhi festival celebration:

Vaisakhi is celebrated with a huge deal of feasting, folk music, bhangra and gidda dancing and fairs. The gurudwara all across the world are decorated and illuminated and 48 hour akhand (without break) path is organized.
The Baisakhi fairs are organized all over Punjab and are the main attraction of the festival for many people. People get dressed up in new clothes and sing and dance. There are races, wrestling bouts, acrobatics, and folk music. Numerous stalls selling trinkets, handicrafts, and food add to the sikh celebrations.

Baisakhi Rituals:

In the morning, Sikhs visit the gurudwara as special prayers are organized. Punjabis from all across the globe specially visit Golden Temple in Amritsar or Anandpur Sahib, where the Khalsa was declared.
The Granth Sahib is bathed with milk and water, placed on a throne and read. Karah Prasad (sacred pudding made from flour, sugar and butter) is distributed. In the afternoon, Granth Sahib is taken out for procession, along with music, singing, chanting and performances. Offering seva in gurudwara during Baisakhi has also huge importance.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative post on Baisakhi which refers to the harvest festival of the Punjab region and the Punjabi new year. Celebrated on 13th April, it marks the birth of the Khalsa. Baisakhi celebration in india is an occasion of dancing, singing and wearing festive clothes. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures.