Baisakhi: All you need to know about the festival
Baisakhi marks the commencement of the Sikh New Year and the farmers offer prayers for the bountiful yield in the next season
Baisakhi is one of the most important and popular festivals celebrated in Punjab and other parts of India. The festival is celebrated annually on April 13 but once in 36 years, it falls on April 14. Baisakhi marks the commencement of the Sikh New Year and the farmers thank God for the good harvest and offer prayers for the bountiful yield in the next season.
The history of this festival dates back to when Guru Teg Bahadur, father of Guru Gobind Singh, was killed by the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. After his father's death, Gobind Singh became the next Sikh Guru. In 1699, he asked youth to come forward to fight against the oppression laid down by the Mughals. The first five men who decided to come forth and follow Gobind Singh in the war against Aurangzeb were bestowed upon the title of the ‘Panj Pyaras’ (precious five men) and that very day marks the beginning of new religion called the 'Khalsa Panth', today, known as Sikhism.
Baisakhi is celebrated with great zeal and pomp, especially by the Sikhs. The gurdwaras (temples) are cleaned and decorated early in the morning. People in large numbers throng to the gurdwaras to seek blessings and offer prayers to the almighty for a prosperous year ahead. After the prayer service, the Sikh community carries a procession of Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture for the Sikhs. During the procession, people dance and sing in joy.
Baisakhi celebrations are incomplete without the famous dances Bhangra and Gidda. Bhangra is a high energy dance performed by both men and women whereas Gidda is a folk dance traditionally performed only by the women.
Langar (food service) in temples
In the afternoon, langar (food service) is organized by the devotees for the people in the gurudwara. Everybody present in the gurudwara is served with food and deserts.
Lip-Smacking Dishes to Eat
Another highlight of this festival is the food. On this auspicious day, various kinds of dishes like Sarson ka saag, potato curry, Makki di roti, poori, vegetable pakora, paneer tikkas, chicken biryani and kheer are served.
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