Baisakhi Festival

Happy Baisakhi photo
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This festival is held in Amritsar, Punjab

The Hindu New Year finds expression in this exuberant festival, celebrated throughout India. Baisakhi celebrations in Punjab are spectacular, as this is a very special day for the Sikhs. Displaying the true spirit of Punjab, Baisakhi Festival marks the arrival of the harvesting season. The month of Vaishakh which coincides with April and May is an enjoyable period of the year, especially in rural India. There is a sense of plenty immediately after the harvest and the weather is mild. It is at this time that many regions celebrate their New Year. Celebrated with great zest and revelry, it marks the harvest of the Rabi crop.

Religious Significance
Baisakhi has a special meaning for the Sikhs. Guru Amar Das had first institutionalized Baisakhi in 1567 as one of the special days when all Sikhs would gather to receive the guru’s blessings at Goindwal. On this day in 1699, their tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, organized the order of the Khalsa. He discontinued the tradition of Gurus in Sikhism by declaring the Granth Sahib to be the eternal Guru of all Sikhs. Guru Arjan Dev was martyred by the Muslim rulers who, in barbaric cruelty, threw him alive into a cauldron of boiling oil, on this day.

Early morning of Baiskhai Festival in Punjab, people take dip in holy rivers. Cries of “Jatta aai Baisakhi” rent the skies as the people of Punjab attired in their best clothes break into the Bhangra dance to express their joy. The dancers and drummers challenge each other to continue the dance. The scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops are expressed through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads. Both men and women, celebrate the day with Bhangra and Gidda. Fairs are organized at various places in Punjab, where besides other recreational activities, wrestling bouts are also held.

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