(On 14 April 2014)

India is a land of festivals. All the festivals in India are celebrated either to pay tribute to certain historical figure, change of season, cultural and religious events, traditional based regional fairs, sowing of crops, harvesting of crops or to remember some historical day like Independent Day or Republic Day etc. The well-known amongst several ones are Dussehra, Diwali, Eid, Good Friday, Gurpurbh, Lohri, Holi and others having regional leanings. In all these festivals, people of all hues participate with gaiety and religious fervor besides with immense gusto and enthusiasm.

Baisakhi is generally celebrated in Northern India on 13th or 14th April every year. It is also a starting of New Year of Vikrami Samvat Calendar. This is a cultural harvest festival which takes place annually and all people celebrate this day with full zeal and enthusiasm.

People start from their houses in groups singing group songs and dancing to the tunes of drums in colourful / holiday finery. A designated holy place of some Peer or temple or Gurdwara is well chosen for this occasion. This year, Baisakhi celebration will be on 14th April 2014. While the farmers are free after harvesting their crops they have load of time to celebrate with gusto and enthusiasm.

Competitions of Gidha by women folks and Bhangra by the menfolks are the main attractions besides wrestling bouts (dangal) by the prominent wrestlers of the area are also organized. Prizes are distributed to the winners of these events. People get together and meet their friends and also this fair affords an opportunity to expand their friends circle.

New meaning to this festival was given in 1699 when Khalsa Path was established by Guru Gobind Singh – the 10th Guru of Sikhs at Anandpur Sahib – a place most venerated by one and all. Khalsa means PURE without any negativity and leading a perfect life besides having courage to lay down their lives for a cause.
The festival holds special significance to Sikhs. Many Sikhs choose to be baptized during this holy day of Baisakhi. People also come out from their houses in the form of congregations called Nagar Kirtans singing hymns from Shri Guru Granth Sahib. What a day to remember!


Baisakhi marks ushering in the New Year,
Of Vikrami Samvat Calendar,
A lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition of yore,
Falling, surprising on 13th or 14th April every year!
When new resolutions are made by all
And old ones introspected for renewal.
A festival known variously in countless parts of our land.
Whilst the farmers toil in the fields on months on ends,
Tilling lands from morn till end of the day,
Occasionally forgetting even siesta and meals without a say,
Sow seeds and water the crop that grows,
Bestowing care for the crops,
Observes its growth with precision,
So that the crop’s yield may surge,
Like he observes the growth of his offspring at his dwelling place.
On auspicious day of Baisakhi,
The farmers having collected crops harvested,
Join together in singing, merrymaking with full gusto,
Celebrate Baisakhi with Bhangra and gidha at full throttle,
In their colourful mesmeric folk attires,
Distributing sweets and good wishes in delight,
At the holy monuments of ‘peers’ and ‘fakirs’,
Known for their piousness and ocean of wisdom,
Offer prayers for the prosperity for everybody,
And also for their crop yield to grow, years after years.
The nature too is at its colorful best,
With flowers emitting fragrance,
The blanket of greenery spreading,
Everywhere your eyes could see,
Making the environs invigorating and heady indeed,
Surprisingly without even an intoxicating agent!
This day too has a history of its own,
Guru Gobind Singh established Khalsa Panth,
At Anandpur Sahib – a place revered by one and all,
To bestow security to the hapless,
People too gather in various Gurudwaras,
While some are baptized in traditional modes,
Shri Golden Temple emits its splendour as ever and more,
Devout take a dip in the holy sarovar,
And pray for wellbeing of nears and dears.

Harbans Khajuria



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