BAISAKHI – A FESTIVAL NOBODY WOULD LIKE TO GIVE A MISS (ON 13th APRIL 2017). – WISHING YOU ALL HAPPY BAISAKHI
Festivals in India are due to a number of substantial reasons. It may be due to change in season, in the memory of certain historical events, cultural and religious events, traditional based principles, fairs at the holy places of peers and saints etc. The well-known amongst several ones are Dussehra, Diwali, Eids, Christmas Day, Gurpurbhs, Lohri, Holi and others having regional and national connotations. In all these festivals, people of different hues celebrate with jovially and religious fervour. Baisakhi is generally celebrated in Northern India on 13th April every year. It is also a starting of New Year of Vikrami Samvat Calendar.
Baisakhi is generally celebrated in Northern India on 13th 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.
In the childhood, our classmate friends used to wait with huge eagerness for this Baisakhi fair for which we used to get extra money to spend for various sorts of eatables and fruits available in the fair. The Baisakhi was the meeting place for other relatives and friends.
People start from their houses in the form of congregation from the early hours itself, singing group songs and dancing to the tunes of drums in colourful / holiday finery. A designated holy place of some Peer or Saint or Temple or Gurdwara is well chosen by the populace for this occasion.
Competitions of Gidha or folk dances by women in their colourful and attractive attire and Bhangra by the men-folks also in their best outfits are the major attraction. Besides wrestling bouts (dangal) by the famous wrestlers of the area are also organized. Prizes are distributed to the winners of these events. People get together and meet their friends. This fair affords the participants 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 noble cause.
The festival holds special significance to Sikhs. Many Sikhs choose to be baptized on 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 is celebrated due to the following:-
- It is celebrated on the occasion of 1st day of Baisakh month of Bikrami Calendar (Samat). People chalk out different plan of actions for the coming year as per Bikrami Calendar and pray that their sincere thought out plans get fructified.
- BAISAKHI is a seasonal festival and it is especially celebrated in Punjab region and in Jammu province; especially after finishing the activities related to crops wheat harvesting and selling their produce in the marketplace giving the people cause to celebrate with gusto.
- After harvesting the wheat crop and ploughing their fields for sowing new crops including some cash crops, the farmers feel joyous and to express their joy they celebrate it by staging Bhangra in different groups, Bhangra competitions are also held and award presented to the one who wins this competition.
- This is in the form of fair (mela) wherein people gather in majority and make merry. Different stalls selling wooden crafts and other household earthen wares are sold there at reasonable prices. Then there are the stalls selling the seasonal fruits like water melon and musk melon make brisk sales. All age group people including children enjoy Baisakhi fair.
- Baisakhi also affords an opportunity or an occasion to thank God for bestowing the farmers with bountiful crops besides praying for more crops in future too.
- Baisakhi has special significance for the Sikhs since on this day, Khalsa Panth was established by 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. On this day Sadh Sangat take organise religious congregations and sing prayers and rhymes from Sri Granth Sahib.
- Hindus and Budhists too celebrate Baisakhi with zeal and enthusiasm. Hindus take sacred bath in River Ganges and other rivers. They pray to God for His grace. Even in parts of South India this day is celebrated but with a different name.
BAISAKHI- A SEASONAL FESTIVAL (13TH APRIL 2017)
Baisakhi fair held a new meaning for us as children
We used to wait for very keenly this festival
It marks the ushering in of joyous New Year,
Of Vikrami Samvat – Calendar,
A lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition of yore,
Falling, surprising on 13th April every year!
When new resolutions are made,
And old ones introspected,
And lessons learned.
A festival known variously in countless regions of India.
Whilst the farmers toil in the fields on months on ends,
Ploughing their fields from early morning till fall of night,
Occasionally forgetting even siesta and meals many times,
Sow seeds and water the crop that grows,
Looking after the crops in the fields,
Observing its growth with huge eagerness,
So that his crop’s yield may grow,,
Like the farmers observe the growth of their dear ones at home.
On this auspicious day the farmers,
Having collected whole of the crop yield so 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 to others in delight.
At the holy mazars (monuments) of ‘pirs’ and ‘fakirs’,
Known for their piousness and ocean of wisdom,
Offer prayers for the prosperity all around,
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,
Factually so mesmerizing,
Soothing to our eyes that these could survey,
Making the environs invigorating and heady indeed,
Surprisingly without even intoxicating agent!
This day too has a history of its own,
Shri Guru Gobind Singh established Khalsa Panth,
To bestow security to the unfortunate ones,
People too gather in various Gurudwaras,
Shri Golden Temple emanates its splendor, as ever,
Devout take a dip in tank, a holy one,
And pray for well-being of their nears and dears,
Do come to our succor,
O our dearest Creator.