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Baisakhi 2020 Special: How to Celebrate Baisakhi (Vaisakhi)

Why do We Celebrate Vaisakhi?

How to Celebrate Baisakhi (Vaisakhi)
Baisakhi 2020
Today, we will discuss special festivals in India. It celebrated all overIndia. Let's discuss a few important things about this. Celebrated on 13 April or 14 April every year, Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is a historical and religious festival in the Sikh calendar. 

It is a spring harvest festival but it also has a much deeper religious connotation for the Sikhs. It is the day that the Khalsa Panth was established by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, in 1699. It also marks the new year for the Sikhs according to the Nanakshahi calendar. 

💥What Happens on Baisakhi?

The significance of Baisakhi marking it a major Sikh festival, and for marking the birth of the Sikh order, resulted after the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru because he refused to convert to Islam under Emperor Aurangzeb’s orders. When he failed to make the Guru change his religion by force and blackmail and even bribery, he executed him.

Guru Amar Das chose three Hindu festivals for Sikhs to celebrate; Baisakhi, Diwali and Maha Shivratri. The festival has major religious connotations for the Sikhs who celebrate it with great vigor every year. The Sikhs consider 13 April to be their new year instead of January 1.

The story of the Baisakhi festival begins with Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom. He was publicly beheaded by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who wanted to spread Islam in India and was doing so forcefully before Guru Tegh Bahadur stepped in and stood for the rights of Hindus and Sikhs, which resulted in him being perceived as a threat by the Mughals. 

He was then forced to accept Islam or be executed and he chose the latter. After his death, his son became the next Sikh Guru. And he chose the occasion of Vaisakhi in 1699, to transform the Sikhs into a family of warrior saints known as the Khalsa Panth. Guru Tegh Bahadur didn’t give up his life for just the Sikhs, it was for all religions. 

It was the Kashmiri Pandits who came to the guru for assistance when all else had failed and they had exhausted all other possible options. The Guru fought for people to retain the right to practice their own religions in peace whether it be Sikhism or Hinduism. 

It was this spirit of his courage and sacrifice that ignited a similar flame in his son. Of fighting for the oppressed. But he chose to do so in a different way, by empowering the Sikhs and turning them into warriors to protect whoever could not do so for themselves.

This was done in Anandpur Sahib in front of thousands of Sikhs. During the Vaisakhi festival, he came out of a tent carrying a sword and asked the Sikhs assembled there to give up his life for the Guru. 

He asked anyone brave enough to step inside the tent with him and when the first came forward, the Guru took him inside the tent and came out with a bloody sword and asked for another person willing to do the same. 

He repeated this procedure four times until five men had disappeared inside the tent. The crowd assembled was concerned as to what happened to the five men. 

After the fifth man had gone inside, the Guru came out with all five men wearing turbans. These men were then christened the ‘Panj Pyare’ or ‘Beloved Five’. The em were then baptized into the Khalsa by the Guru. They were given Amrit stirred with the Guru’s kirpan and given prasad.

In the Northern states of Punjab and Haryana, Vaisakhi is celebrated with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. As these states also have crops to be harvested, they usually carry out big celebrations. the celebrations are certainly very colorful and full of joy. The men perform bhangra and the women perform Siddha, the traditional folk dances. 

Sikhs everywhere celebrate this festival with the utmost devotion and sincerity. They wake up early and take a bath and wear new clothes. They then offer prayer to the guru followed by areas. They then visit the nearby Gurudwara to seek blessings. 

After the special prayer meets for this day, the kirtan and the special areas, they have distributed the Kadha Prasad. They then sit in rows in the langar halls to eat langar. 

There are special celebrations in major gurudwaras like the Golden Temple and Rakab Ganj saheb in Delhi. There is a lot of rush in these gurudwaras on this day as Sikhs do their best to visit these two gurudwaras.  

The date for Vaisakhi in 2020, is on April 14. 

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💬Contributed by: Mansidak Kaur

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