Festivals
Vaisakhi

In India, almost every day of the year, there is a festival. Colour and pageant merge with ritual, and spontaneous enjoyment with worship.

Vaisakhi festival is the New Year's Day in the Punjab and falls on 13th April. The date is fixed, being based on a solar calendar though once every six years it occurs on 14th April. It coincides with the harvesting of wheat and is thus a harbinger of wealth and prosperity.

Vaisakhi is celebrated by all communities but it has come to acquire a special significance for Punjab in general and Sikhs in particular.

Guru Nanak in Tukhari Rag describes month of Vaisakh as follows:-
Beauteous Vaisakh, when the bough adorns itself anew
The wife awaits the coming of her Lord
Her eyes fixed on the door.
"My love, who alone can help me across
The turbulent waters of life,
Have compassion for me and come home,
Without thee I am as worthless as a shell
Love, look thou upon me with favour
And let our eyes mingle
Then will I become priceless beyond compare".
Nanak asks: "Whither seekest thou the Lord?
Whom awaitest thou?
Thou hast not far to go, for the Lord
Is within thee, thou art His Mansion.
If thy body and soul yearn for the Lord,
The Lord shall love thee
And Vaisakh will beautiful be."

Guru Amardas convented the first assembly of the Sikhs at Goindwal on the Vaisakhi day of 1576 A.D. by sending Hukamnama. (Order). The pilgrims took bath in the Baoli (source of deep-well water) and participated in the langar before going to the Guru.

Later on it became customary for the Sikhs to assemble and to offer prayers at Gurdwaras. On Vaisakhi day of 1622 A.D. Guru Hargovind had declared at Amritsar that any five good Sikhs could also initiate the new aspirants into the fold of Sikhism.

It was on the Vaisakhi day of 1699 A.D. that Guru Gobind Singh made the most stirring oration on saving religion which was in great peril, and about his divine mission. He expressed great faith in the power of common people. He explained that in order to safeguard their spiritual and temporal rights the people should collectively organise themselves to fight tyranny. He created the Khalsa Panth on this day by baptising the Pan Pyaras (the five beloved). This Gurpurb (festival) is commemorated every year and the Sikh boys and girls are mostly baptised on this day.

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia defeated Adina Beg Khan at Hoshiarpur and arrived in triumph at Amritsar in time to celebrate the Vaisakhi fair. At the meeting of Sarbat Khalsa it was resolved to merge the Independent jathas into one army, the Dal Khalsa. The Sikhs began to assemble at Amritsar for Vaisakhi and this town became their focal point in the absence of human Guru.


One of the famous story of Vaisakhi 1919 Is when General Dyer, acting on the orders of the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael O'Dwyer, tried to resist history by preventing the Sikh assembly. The Sikhs met in a small enclosure called Jallian Walla Bagh. They were fired on by the army and three hundred and thirty-seven men, forty-one boys and a baby laid down their lives to pave the way for the country's freedom. Today Vaisakhi in Amritsar is celebrated as a festival, harbinger of wealth, social, religious and political occasion.

Long before dawn pilgrims make their way to the Golden Temple (Har Mandar Sahib) and the stream of people crossing the causeway and bathing in the pool continues far into the evening. A few hundred meters away Jallian WalIa Bagh is the scene of political rallies In the afternoon. For the people of the outlying villages this festival is a last opportunity for relaxing before beginning to harvest the corn.

This festival is commemorated by the Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular throughout the world.


Festivals Chopada Poojan Dhan Teras Diwali Dushera Janmastami Kali Chaudas Navratri
New Year
Raksha Bandhan Sharad Purnima Vaisakhi Mahavir Jayanti
Ram Navmi Gauri puja Jaya Parvati Vrat Chaturthi Shivratri Holi