Baisakhi is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in the vibrant state of Punjab to mark the harvest of Rabi crops. The festival of Baisakhi also has tremendous religious significance for the predominant Sikh population of the state as it is was on a Baisakhi Day in 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh - the revered Tenth Guru of Sikhs laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth.
Festival of Baisakhi is usually celebrated on April 13, but once in every 36 years the festival is celebrated on April 14. Joyful people of Punjab celebrate Baisakhi with exuberance and gaiety. Highpoint of Baisakhi celebrations is the performance of the traditional Bhangra and Gidda dance and the special langar served at Gurudwaras.
When thousands of people assembled for Guru’s blessing, Guru Gobind Singh came out of the tent carrying an unsheathed sword. He gave a powerful speech to infuse courage amongst fellowmen. At the end of the speech he said that every great deed was preceded by equally great sacrifice and demanded that anyone prepared to give his life come forward. On the Guru’s third call, a young man offered himself. The Guru took the man inside a tent and reappeared alone with a bloodied sword. Guru Gobind Singh asked for another volunteer. This was repeated another four times until a total of five Sikhs had gone into the tent with the Guru. Everyone present was worried and though that Guru Gobind Singh has killed five Sikhs. At this point Guru presented all the five men before the people. Every one present was surprised to see all five men alive and wearing turbans and saffron-coloured garments.
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded by Guru Nanak in the state of Punjab, India. It is a relatively new religion and was established in 16th and 17th century with the teachings of its ten Gurus. Today, Sikhism is regarded as the major religion of the world and has over 23 million followers.
Sikhism comes from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from its Sanskrit root 'siya' which means "disciple" or "learner", or from the equivalent Pali word 'sikkha'.