Baisakhi is an important festival celebrated primarily in by
the Sikh community. It is the harvest festival wherein the farmers pay tribute
and thank Gods for a bountiful harvest and also pray for prosperous future.
Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi, is celebrated on April 13th or
April 14th of every year. It coincides with the Sikh New Year. On
this day, in 1699, the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh JI, organized the order of
the Khalsa. Hence it is of great importance to the Sikhs and they celebrate it with
full zeal and zest.
On Baisakhi, people visit Gurudwaras to attend special prayer
meetings. The Guru Granth Sahib, holy book of the Sikhs, is read to the followers
in the Gurudwara. After the afternoon prayers, Karah Prasad or sweetened
semolina is offered to the Guru and then distributed amongst the devotees. Langar (community lunch) is made and served by
the volunteers. Various kirtans are also held to remember God and the
significance of this day. This festival marks the harvest of the winter crops
hence, very significant to the farmers. After
paying respects in the Gurudwara, the men and women gather in a park or open
field and ostentatiously celebrate the festival of Baisakhi.
On this day, many processions are held. People flock in
large numbers to join these processions and celebrate the festival with the
entire community. Famous Punjabi dhol adds to the fun and frolic of the
celebration. The loud and energetic music brings everyone to the dance floor. Men and women dress up in their traditional
clothes and enjoy with lot of food, music and dance. At many places, Baisakhi fairs are held. People
participate in these fairs to buy goods from the local farmers and artisans. Bhangra and gidda are performed by men and
women respectively. Wrestling matches,
singing competitions and acrobatic performances are organized. Baisakhi is
celebrated with all its charm and grandeur. It brings people together, reminds
them of their cultural heritage and is a day to be thankful for all the gifts
bestowed upon us by God.