THE BAISAKHI- A SEASONAL FESTIVAL (ON 4TH APRIL 2018)
MAY BHANGRA OF OURS CONTINUE TILL ETERNITY
We used to wait for very keenly Baisakhi Festival
It marks the ushering in of joyous New Year,
Of Vikrami Samvat – Calendar,
A lunar Calendar based on ancient Vedic timekeeping traditions
Coming on 13th April every year otherwise!
But this year falling on 14th April
On this day people make new resolutions being the start of New Year
After having experienced the year gone by
Then take into account the lessons so learned
As is the practice on first of every that starts.
This festival is known variously in various regions of the land
Baisakhi in Punjab, Polia Baishakh/Naba Barsha in West Bengal
Bohag Bihu in Assam, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu
Vishu in Kerala, Maha Vishauba Sankranti in Odisha
And then Vaishakha in Bihar
Though termed differently in different parts of India
Yet the spirit behind the celebration remains the same everywhere.
After having toiled in the fields for days together
From morning till the late evening
Sometimes forgetting to take their meals even
Put their efforts to the maximum
Tilling their land constantly
Sow seeds and water their crops which give them bumper crops
Then they take care of their growing crops
Like a mother looks after her offspring
Gives the crops water and right dose of manure
To ensure the best yield that could be had
Then the ripe crop is harvested
Account his entire produce
Keeps some of his own need
And takes the other part of the marketplace for extra money
Having finished all his farming commitments
Joins in merrymaking with huge delight
Celebrate Baisakhi with Bhangra by men folks
And gidha by women folks with full force
In their colorful mesmerizing fold attires
Thereafter there is a competition
In Gidha and Bhangra groups
To the tune of drums
What a sight is for the audience
The judges adjust the best teams
And distribute the prizes
Followed by the distribution of sweets along with good wishes
At the Holy Mazard (Monuments) of Pirs and fakirs
Known for their piousness and sea of sagacity
The devout offer Chadhars and prayers
For peace and prosperity for all
And wish that their crops may be bumper the next season
There is a blanket of greenery all around
The fragrance of flowers really mesmerizes the environs
Soothing both the mind and the eyes of everybody
Everybody gets enchanted by the surcharged surroundings.
This day has a historical importance
Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru
A most revered one
Who established Khalsa Panth on this day
To bestow security to the unfortunate ones
Devout gather in various Gurdwaras to offer prayers
Sri Golden Temple is specially decorated on this day
And emits its splendor of highest order
The devotees take a dip in the holy Sarovar
Then pray for the well-being of their nears and dears
My prayer to the Lord
Do bestow your bountiful graces upon us all
Not merely on this auspicious day
But also for all the days to come on this Mother Earth.
THE BAISAKHI – A FESTIVAL KNOWN FOR ITS CULTURAL RICHNESS AND RELIGIOUS FERVOR (ON 14th APRIL 2018) – WISHING YOU ALL HAPPY BAISAKHI
Festivals in India are celebrated owing to some special reasons. It may be due to change in season, in the memory of certain historical events, cultural and religious events or celebrated to commemorate on the name of some renowned personage, traditionally 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 fervor.
It is celebrated with different names in various parts of India but fervor and enthusiasm remain the same. It is celebrated as Baisakhi in Punjab, Polia Baishakh/Naba Barshai in West Bengal, Bohag Bihu in Assam, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Vishu in Kerala, Maha Vishauba Sankranti in Odisha and Vaishakha in Bihar.
Baisakhi is generally celebrated in Northern India on 13th April but this year it is being celebrated on 14th April 2014. It is also a starting of New Year of Vikrami Samvat Calendar. It also is celebrated in other parts of India with other names. This is a cultural harvest festival which takes place annually and all people celebrate this day with full enthusiasm. The farmers, after putting in their best in their fields get fruits of their labor when they reap a bumper crop which makes the lives of their kith and kin prosperous.
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 the congregation from the early hours itself, singing group songs and dancing to the tunes of drums in colorful / 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 colorful and attractive attire and Bhangra by the men-folks also in their best outfits are a 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 friend’s circle.
New meaning to this festival was given on 13th April 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 the courage to lay down their lives for a noble cause.
The festival holds special significance to Sikhs. Many Sikhs choose to be baptized on the holy day of Baisakhi. People also come out from their houses in huge congregations called Nagar Kirtans singing hymns from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. What a day to remember – this Baisakhi festival!
BAISAKHI is celebrated due to the following:-
- It is celebrated on the occasion of 1stday of Baisakh month of Bikrami Calendar (Samat). People chalk out the 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 plowing 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 have also held an award presented to the one who wins this competition.
- This is in the form of the fair (mela) wherein people gather in the majority and make merry. Different stalls selling wooden crafts and other household earthenwares are sold there at reasonable prices. Then there are the stalls selling the seasonal fruits like watermelon and muskmelon 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 takes organize religious congregations and sing prayers and rhymes from Sri Granth Sahib.
- Hindus and Buddhists too celebrate Baisakhi with zeal and enthusiasm. Hindus take the 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.
- As this is a seasonal festival connected with the harvesting of crops, it is in fact celebrated by all.