Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is the harvest festival observed by people in Punjab. It is celebrated on the 13-April. The festival of harvest holds immense significance in the Sikh community. It also indicates the augment of new solar year along with the harvest season. Baisakhi is observed as the ‘Thanksgiving Day’ by the farmers whereby each of the farmers pays tribute to the God. This is for abundant harvest and crave for future prosperity.
How Vaisakhi/Baisakhi is celebrated
There is a great tradition associated with the harvesting, namely, Aawat Pauni which involves a kind of get-together. This get-together includes Punjabis harvesting wheat. People work together on the fields and drums are played. They sing ‘dohay’ to the drum tunes. The festival is also characterized by the popular Punjabi folk dance called Bhangra. Baisakhi, as per the Punjabi calendar, is the New Year. The day is as per the solar basis of Punjabi calendar which in turn is based on the Bikrami calendar. Throughout the Punjab region, this day is celebrated with great pomp and show. On the day of Baisakhi, fairs are organized all across Punjabi villages.
The great significance of Baisakhi for the Sikhs
Among the three festivals chosen by Amar Das Guru, Baisakhi is one of them. It is Baisakhi which gave birth to the Bandi Chor Divas during the time of the Guru Hargobind Sahibji. For the Sikhs, the festival holds a great significance since on the 13th April 1699. On this day, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of Panth Khalsa which is the order of Pure Ones that gave rise to the Khalsa Sirjana Festival. The Baisakhi marks the celebration of accepting the 5Ks. Sikh devotees on the New Year visit the Gurdwara before dawn with offerings and flowers. You will see the processions all through towns, citites and villages.
When is the festival of Vaisakhi celebrated?
The Khalsa Sirjana Divas or Baisakhi is celebrated on the second month’s first day of Vaisakh. The festival is celebrated on the 13th of April and at times on the 14th of April. The festival is considered as the Khalsa New Year.
The grand festivity
The festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with full enthusiasm by the rural, the Sikhs and the urban. It is enjoyed with complete vigor and enthusiasm. Being a social festival, it involves a lot of activities as well. The main activities of the festival include singing and dancing. Punjabis wear colorful dresses and perform the famous dance Bhangra. The dancing is done in full energy, zeal and passion. Farmers enjoy the fruits of their hard work during Vaisakhi. They reap the benefits of the whole year’s hard work and toil. The entire North India celebrates this colorful festival and pay visit to the near and dear ones. To show the great love and care for the friends and family, gifts are exchanged. ‘Baisakhi mela’ is itself the carnival festival and is also followed in the Punjab villages.
Punjabis love enjoying the lip smacking, delicious and tasty food prepared during the day. With the advent of the internet, now it is possible to send gifts online if it is not possible to visit the location personally on the Baisakhi.
Besides the Punjabis, the Bengali community celebrates the occasion and wish ‘Shubho Naba Varsha’ to all the near and dear ones. Even in Buddhism, the day has great significance. It is believed that on the 13th April Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
Enjoy the colorful festival and blessings of Baisakhi.