Vaisakhi Festival India 2023

  • TypeType:Cultural
  • Dates:14-Apr-2023
  • Location:India(Punjab,Jammu & Kashmir,and Haryana)

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The first day of the month of Vaisakh is marked with the festival of Vaisakhi, which is historically observed on April 13 and occasionally on April 14 each year to commemorate the spring crop, especially in Northern India. Vaisakhi is also spelt Baisakhi. Furthermore, this holiday is also observed by various Indian communities and the diaspora. Vaisakhi is an important harvest festival from a cultural perspective, but it also marks the start of the Indian Solar New Year in many regions of the country.

ABOUT VAISAKHI

Baisakhi Day is celebrated in remembrance of the day when Guru Gobind Singh initiated five of his devoted followers into the Khalsa, also known as the Brotherhood of the Pure Ones. A historical event occurred recently at Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles. An American Sikh participated in giving the Amrit to over 100 Sikhs who had journeyed there to receive it for the first time in history.

ABOUT THE DATES OF VAISAKHI

Vaisakhi is celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April each year in the twenty-first century. It did, however, fall on April 11, 1801 AD. This is because the dates of Sankranti celebrations like Vaisakhi change gradually over time. In the year 2999, Vaisakhi would fall on April 29. The celebration falls on the same day as other new year celebrations held throughout the Indian Subcontinent, including Pohela Boishakh, Bohag Bihu, Vishu, and Puthandu.

ETYMOLOGY OF VAISAKHI

The Apabhramsa term Vaishkh, which comes from the name of the Indian month of Vaishakha, gave rise to the words Vaisakhi and Baisakhi. In Prakrit and Apbhramsa, there is no distinction between the sounds "sha" and "sa" and between "va" and "ba." Thus, Vaisakhi or Baisakhi was given. Its pronunciation in tonal languages like Bengali is "Boishakhi." Meaning "associated with Vaisakh month," Vaisakhi, observed on the Sankranti of that

month, is derived from the name of a Nakshatra called Vishakha. The spelling of Punjabi varies by area. Vaisakhi is popular in the Punjab region, but speakers of the Doabi and Malwai dialects frequently use a B instead of a V. Depending on the writer's dialect, the spelling is used.

HINDUISM RELATED TO VAISAKHI

For some Hindus, the traditional solar new year begins on the first day of Vaisakh. However, not all Hindus celebrate this new year. The five-day Diwali festival coincides with the new year celebrations for some people, such as those in and around Gujarat. Others celebrate the beginning of the year on Cheti Chand, Gudi Padwa, or Ugadi, which occurs a few weeks earlier. It is a time of plenty for the farmers as the harvest is finished and the crops are prepared for sale. In the Hindu religion, festivals and special thanksgiving pujas (prayers) are common. The Vanis of the Saints makes it clear that the aura of Vaisakhi is always present in Satlok. Hindus refer to it by various regional names, even though the celebrations and significance are the same. Hindus commemorate it by bathing in revered rivers because they think that on Vaisakhi, the goddess Ganges descended from Svarga to Earth. The Ganges, Jhelum, and Kaveri are a few rivers that are particularly revered. Hindus go to temples, socialise with friends, and celebrate with seasonal fare.

HOW IS VAISAKHI CELEBRATED?

The holiday is observed with great delight and zeal. On this day, traditional folk dances are performed. Events that accurately represent Punjabi culture are held, and tourists and residents participate enthusiastically.

These cultural events frequently feature the Bhangra traditional folk dance, a harvest celebration dance. During this occasion, a fundamental component of Punjabi culture, crowds of people gather at nearby fairs.

Sikhs joyfully and devotedly observe this occasion. They get up early, bathe, wear fresh clothing, and go to the gurdwara to attend the day's special prayer meeting. Gurdwaras are decorated with coloured lights, and the Sikhs host a procession called "Nagar Kirtan '' escorted by five Khalsa.

In India, many people participate in the Vaisakhi festival by dancing, singing, donning festive attire, watching wrestling matches, and taking in the numerous parades held during this time. To commemorate this day, men perform the Bhangra and women the Gidda. People like special festival dishes and treats like Kada prasad (sweet).

For Sikhs, the holiday has a unique meaning. During this holiday, a lot of Sikhs decide to get baptised. During the Vaisakhi festival, processions known as Nagar Kirtans travel through the streets while chanting hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, a holy book of worship.

People dance, sing, and dress in new attire to celebrate the holiday. They like to witness the parades that will happen at this time. Men and women both dance. Men execute the Bhangra form to commemorate the occasion, while women perform the Gidda form. During the holiday season, people prepare food and treats to share. For Sikhs, who parade and observe the day with tremendous enthusiasm, it has been unique. The northern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab lavishly celebrate Vaisakhi.

Sikhs get up early, bathe, wear fresh clothes, and travel to the closest gurdwara to offer special prayers. Everyone present will get kada prasad following the communal prayer. After that, volunteers offer them delicious langa. The holiday is also observed in fields, schools, and institutions. On this day, schools are expected to hold several activities. The ideal site to experience Vaisakhi's true splendour is gurdwaras. They hold Kirtanas and are fully decked out to draw large crowds. The same festivities are anticipated during Vaisakhi 2023.

HISTORY BEHIND VAISAKHI

Baisakhi is another name for Vaisakhi. Harvesters rejoice and celebrate the New Year and the crops they have just finished harvesting at this yearly harvest festival. But in 1699, establishing the Khalsa Panth (a group of religious warriors) during the Vaisakhi Festival gave the holiday new significance.

In a crowd of thousands, the tenth Guru Gobind Singh inquired who would die for one's religion. Guru Gobind Singh did not execute the five men who eventually offered to donate their life. Instead, he baptised them, and the five men later joined an organisation known as the Khalsa. This historic occurrence served as the inspiration for the custom of Sikh baptism during the Vaisakhi celebration.

According to legend, Guru Gobind Singh challenged any Sikh willing to lose his life on Vaisakhi. Five people offered their services out of a crowd of approximately a thousand. The Guru organised a five-person company of saint soldiers named "Khalsa" and baptised the volunteers with "Amrit" rather than killing them. The Five Ks are the five articles of faith that baptised Sikhs wear. They are Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a wooden comb), Kara (a steel bracelet), Kachera (cotton undergarments), and Kirpan (a small sword).

The showering of nectar, or "Amrit," during the ceremonial baptising of Sikhs has become a tradition since that terrible day.

In addition to its historical significance, the day celebrates the ripening of the Rabi crop and is a major holiday in Punjab. On the other hand, Vaisakhi is commemorated as New Year's Day in Hinduism and is lavishly celebrated in various Indian states.

SYMBOLS OF THE VAISAKHI FESTIVAL

The Five Ks are the five articles of faith that baptised Sikhs wear. They are Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a wooden comb), Kara (a steel bracelet), Kachera (cotton undergarments), and Kirpan (a small sword). The Five Ks represent the Sikh identity and the commitment to the Sikh way of life.

DISHES AND DELICACIES OF VAISAKHI

A special significance marks the entire celebration of Punjabi cuisine. The traditional dish "Makki ki roti and Sarson ka saag" is a must-have addition to every Punjabi menu because the area is known as the "BreadBasket of the Nation."

Gud Ka Halwa: Gud Halwa is the ideal choice to satisfy your sweet craving after a meal on Baisakhi if you enjoy your sweet hunger. Ghee and Gud are used to make delectable food. After taking the first spoonful, you will fall in love with the meal because of the toppings of various dry fruits.

Kesari Chawal: This rice-based dish is made with sweet saffron threads, dry fruits, and dry fruits. It tastes fantastic and may cause genuine food cravings over this festive season.

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora: The food uses graham flour (besan), full-cream curd, and various hot spices. With rice, the broth is delicious. The pakora gives a special taste to delectable dishes.

ASTROLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF VAISAKHI

The spring harvest festival, Baisakhi, is observed annually on April 13 or 14. However, because the date is determined using the solar calendar, it only occurs on April 14 once every 36 years.

The day of Baisakhi is extremely important in astrology since it represents the Sun's entry into the sign of Aries, also known as Mesha Rashi. As a result, it is celebrated as Mesha Sankranti among Hindus. "Baisakhi" derives from the Hindu calendar month of Baisakh, the first of the Bikram Sambat. In different Indian states, this blessed day is observed with various religious ceremonies and titles, including "Rongali Bihu" in Assam, "Naba Barsha" in Bengal, "Puthandu" in Tamil Nadu, "Pooram Vishu" in Kerala, and "Vaishaka" in Bihar.

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF VAISAKHI

On Baisakhi in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, established the Khalsa Panth, where all Sikhs who were ready to join the Khalsa (pure) were baptised. These Gurus went through the Amrit ritual, where they swore to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and other intoxicants. Participants in the Amrit ceremony must follow a strict vegetarian diet and live a humble lifestyle without shaving their bodies. Another significant historical event in India associated with Baisakhi is the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Most Sikhs who had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh to celebrate Baisakhi were killed on April 13, 1919, when British Indian Army soldiers led by Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire on a mob of civilians.

CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF VAISAKHI

In Punjab, people celebrate Baisakhi, which coincides with the ripening of the Rabi crops. In these states, it is Thanksgiving Day. Farmers dress in new clothes and go to Gurudwaras to thank God for a healthy harvest and to ask for favourable weather to encourage the growth and production of crops. The highlight of this celebration is when men and women perform the traditional folk dances Gidda and Bhangra, respectively.

RITUALS AND CUSTOMS OF VAISAKHI

Sikhs go to their place of worship, the Gurudwara, to celebrate Baisakhi. Many travels to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple (Shri Harminder Sahib), where the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs, is read while a Chauri is waved above it. The sacred book is then brought out for Nagar Kirtan in procession. There is a lot of hymn chanting, dancing, and singing. At Shri Anandpur Sahib, the site of the founding of the Khalsa Panth, Sikhs assemble. On the auspicious day of Baisakhi, the Khalsa Panth is recited here.

Sikhs must visit gurdwaras in the morning to participate in communal prayer. The Granth Sahib will receive a milk bath. All attendees will be given sweets. In the late afternoon, Sikhs are required to parade the Granth Sahib. These are the customary Vaisakhi 2023 rituals. The Kirpan, a sword; the Kesh, uncut hair; the Kara, a steel ring; the Kangha, a comb; and the Katchera, some of the festival's symbols.

PUBLIC LIFE ON VAISAKHI DAY

For Sikhs, Baisakhi is a very special day. According to the Nanakshahi calendar, it is the occasion to celebrate the "New Year." Colleges and schools must be closed on the celebration day. Additionally, all Sikh-owned businesses must remain closed or operate with shortened hours. Public transportation is unaffected by the festival. Festival events may impact the public transport timetable.

CLOTHES TO BE WORN ON VAISAKHI

The location hosts celebrations for thousands of devotees who arrive decked out in traditional attire such as Punjabi salwar kameez, Patiala suits, and more fashionable variations of the ethnic garb. Men are expected to wear vibrant churidar kurta ensembles and traditional turban. An informal or pleated bottom is worn with a short to medium-length kurta in traditional North Indian salwar suits. Patialas, Palazzo suits, and Punjabi suits with traditional salwar bottoms are frequently seen in variations. You can wear many other suit styles for the occasion, but we usually recommend ones with a vivid "desi" vibe, such as embroidered Patiala suits or sumptuous brocade Anarkalis!

TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN INDIA DURING VAISAKHI

Haridwar, Uttarakhand : Hindus believe that River Goddess Ganga fell to Earth from heaven on the day of Vaisakhi. An important Hindu pilgrimage centre, Haridwar hosts one of India's biggest Vaisakhi fairs. Around 50 lakhs (5 million) pilgrims congregate at Brahma Kund in Haridwar during this occasion to take a bath in the Ganga river.

Punjab : The Vaisakhi fair at the Hindu Shrine of Katas Raj was well-known in Undivided Punjab. Around 10,000 pilgrims, predominantly Hindus, made the trip. Similarly, since the 16th century CE, Bairagi saints from all over India have flocked to the shrine of Bairagi Baba Ram Thaman, where a Vaisakhi fair has been conducted yearly and attended by some 60,000 pilgrims. The most impressive Vaisakhi fair is held in the Thakurdwara of Bhagwan Narainji in Pandori Mahatan in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The fair lasts three days, from the first to the third of Vaisakha. On the morning of the first Vaisakha, Brahmacharis, and devotees transport Mahant in a palanquin as the celebrations officially begin. After that, Navgraha Puja is performed, and cows, wheat, and money are donated. Sankirtan is held in the evening, during which Mahant gives religious speeches and closes by giving out prasad of Patashas (candy drops). At the shrine's sacred tank, pilgrims also partake in ritual bathing.

Jammu : A significant holiday for the Jammu region Dogra Hindus is Vaisakhi. Every year on this occasion, people wake up early, swarm the rivers, canals, and ponds, and take a ritual dip. A Puja is done in Dogra homes, and some food is offered to the gods. On this day, people savour the fresh fruit of the year. Vaisakhi ritual baths along the Tawi River are popular in Jammu. On the banks of the Devika River in Udhampur, Vaisakhi is celebrated, and for three days, worshippers can listen to local melodies. This event is celebrated in Sudhmahadev with a lot of fanfare when folk singers descend, and a competition of folk songs is performed. Typically, vendors set up their stores and food stands. To watch the spectacular New Year celebration, many people visit the Nagbani temple.

Vaisakhi is also regarded as a "harvest festival" and lucky, particularly for unions. Dogri Bhangra is a component of Vaisakhi celebrations as well. Bhangra dances are a distinctive aspect of Baisakhi celebrations, but they are an import from Punjab and are more secular than religious, according to Ganhar (1975).

Numerous festivals are held to commemorate the occasion, and hundreds travel to celebrate Vaisakhi. For instance, according to the 1961 Census, 10,000 people attended the Vaisakhi fair in Airwan, Kathua. Around 15,000 pilgrims visit the 700-year-old Subar Nag Devta Temple in Bhaderwah for the annual Baisakhi festival. Doda Bridge and Ramban are additional locations for Vaisakhi fairs.

Himachal Pradesh : Hindus in Himachal Pradesh celebrate Vaisakhi as a significant holiday. Early in the morning, people take a ceremonial bath. On this day, two clay lamps are lit with oil for Sangiya and the other with ghee for Jyot. With a water container, evergreen grass blades, Kusha, Incense, Sandal, Vermillion, and Dakshina are kept in a sizable saucer (money). These items are used in the worship of domestic deities. Rice and pulses are given as alms, along with small coins close to the deity. This is frequently referred to as Nasrawan by family priests. After Puja is finished, black gram fried cakes that were made the day before are given to neighbours. On this day, special delicacies are made. On this day, floors are cemented, and whitewashing is completed. It is referred to as Prau Lagana. People participate in fairs scheduled for three days in the evening.

Haryana : In Yamunanagar and Kurukshetra, Vaisakhi is observed with great religiosity. The Vaisakhi fair is conducted in the Kurukshetra district at Baan Ganga Tirtha, which is connected to Arjuna from the Mahabharata. Ritual baths are customarily taken during Vaisakhi in the sacred Baan Ganga Tirtha in the Kurukshetra village of Dayalpur. At this Hindu pilgrimage, a fair is held every Vaisakhi. The Haryana government also holds a Vaisakhi festival in Pinjore Garden to honour this religious and cultural occasion.

Uttar Pradesh : According to the Hindu Solar Calendar, Vaisakhi or Sankranti is observed on the first day of Vaisakh. Due to the donation and consumption of Sattu on this day, it is also known as Sattu or Satwahi. During this celebration, it is customary to bathe in a river or pond and consume Sattu and Gur (Jaggery).

Jalandhar :The city of Jalandhar puts up a beautiful Vaisakhi celebration. The primary celebrations feature singing, dancing, etc. Both men and women perform folk dances. It's enjoyable to watch.

Chandigarh : Chandigarh is one of this event's most popular tourist locations. Visitors to the city go to gurudwaras to pray to God. Like Haryana, they can take advantage of evening singing and dancing performances.

Delhi : Numerous celebrations are held in Delhi, the nation of India's capital, to mark the occasion. Numerous others from all over the country also go there. People congregate at gurdwaras to offer special prayers and exchange holiday pleasantries. Vaisakhi festivities are also organised in Delhi. Think about this location as well.

Amritsar : If you're looking for the ideal location to celebrate Vaisakhi in 2023, look at Amritsar. Thousands of Sikhs travel there each year. Guru Gobind Singh, the city's Golden Temple's tenth Sikh Guru, established the Khalsa at this location. On this day, visitors offer special prayers.

VAISAKHI FESTIVAL 2023

In Indian history, Baisakhi symbolises the significance of development and sacrifice. It teaches us about maintaining a strong confidence in our religious and spiritual Gurus through challenging and trying times and holding on long enough to discover an opportunity to re-emerge.

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FAQs about Vaisakhi Festival

Q.What is Vaisakhi?
Vaisakhi is a harvest festival that marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year and is celebrated every year on April 13 or 14.
Q.What is special about Vaisakhi?
On Vaisakhi, Sikhism was born as a collective faith.
Q.What do people wear on Vaisakhi?
An informal or pleated bottom is worn with a short to medium-length kurta in traditional North Indian salwar suits in Vaisakhi.
Q.What Deity is Praised during Baisakhi?
To offer prayers to Surya Devta is highly regarded as lucky by the populace (Sun God).
Q.Why is Vaisakhi celebrated?
Vaisakhi is celebrated to mark the founding of the Khalsa, a Sikh brotherhood, by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. It is also a harvest festival celebrated as a time of thanksgiving for the abundant crops.
Q.Where is Vaisakhi celebrated?
Vaisakhi is primarily celebrated in Punjab, India, but it is also celebrated in other parts of India and countries with a large Sikh population.
Q.What are the traditional customs and rituals of Vaisakhi?
The traditional customs and rituals of Vaisakhi include visiting gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship), offering prayers and offerings, performing kirtans (devotional singing), and participating in processions.
Q.What is the significance of the Khalsa in Vaisakhi?
The Khalsa is a brotherhood of Sikhs who have committed themselves to the principles of Sikhism. The founding of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh represents a key event in Sikh history and is celebrated during Vaisakhi.
Q.What is langar, and why is it important in Vaisakhi?
Langar is a communal meal served in gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions. It is an important part of Sikhism based on sharing, equality, and community principles. During Vaisakhi, langar is served to all visitors, regardless of religion or background.
Q.Do Sikhs only celebrate Vaisakhi?
While Vaisakhi is primarily a Sikh festival, it is also celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists in different parts of India. In addition, many non-Sikhs participate in Vaisakhi parades and cultural activities in countries with a large Sikh populations.
Q.What are some traditional foods that are eaten during Baisakhi?
Some traditional foods that are eaten during Baisakhi include sarson ka saag (a mustard leaf-based dish), makki ki roti (a flat cornmeal bread), chole bhature (spicy chickpea curry with fried bread), and kheer (a rice pudding dessert).