Our country India, possess diverse culture and heritage thus depicting the versatility and real essence of culture regardless of caste, religion and creed. It is apparent from the variety of festivals celebrated each year. People from all over the country celebrate various festivals sharing the brotherhood amongst them.
Also, known as “Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav”, Gurpurab is one of the major festivals of the Sikhs. This holy day marks the significance of the birth of the Sikh Guru- Guru Nanak Dev Ji. As per the Hindu calendar, it mostly falls in the month of Kartik (November). This religious day is celebrated mostly in Punjab and Haryana with huge pomp and show. The gurudwaras are beautifully decorated and holy book of Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib is chanted continuously.
Importance of Guru Nanak Jayanti
The founder of Sikhism and the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on 15th April 1469. His birth anniversary is one of the auspicious occasion which is celebrated on a full moon day of Kartik month. This festival is a reflection of the glorious history of Sikhism and is also the major occasion for the Sikh community to celebrate and feel proud of their rich heritage and culture.
Since childhood, Guru Nanak was attracted towards religion, humanity, goodness, devotion and purity. Carrying a divine aura around him, he was quite different from other children. When he grew up, he devoted his life to the welfare of the people and spread the message of tolerance and love. His main aim was to preach to the innocent people about the respect, humanity, pride and honour. His message knew no boundaries of religion, sect or caste. According to him, each person should do three things. Firstly, he should earn his living without living an ideal life. Secondly, he should always remember God and should ask others to do so. Thirdly, one should share his earnings with others and help the weak people.
Celebrations of Guru Nanak Jayanti
The celebrations of the most sacred festival of Sikhs starts with the melodious Prabhat Pheries in the early morning hours. These processions start from the gurudwara and proceeds towards the houses that have invited them for religious service. The festivity is held for two days before Gurpurab starting with Akhand Path, in which the holy book of Sikhs ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is read continuously for 48 hours. The large procession well-known as “Nagarkirtan” organised one day before the birthday is the main charm of the festival. Consisting of the Palki of Guru Granth Sahib decorated with flowers, the procession is led by the Panj Pyaras carrying the Nishan Sahib. Singers singing hymns, bands playing devotional tunes, Gatka team performing martial art, preachers and numerous followers also accompany it.
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“Karah Parshad” is also prepared and served amongst the devotees once the Ardas is done. Finally, the celebration ends with the serving of Langar which is a special lunch organised by the community at the Gurudwaras. In this food is served to everyone without any discrimination in the name of religion, sex or colour. People in large number participate in offering food and also doing Seva of God.
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Photo by jasleen_kaur
One must visit “The Golden Temple” in Amritsar to see the religious zeal of the festival. The whole shrine is beautifully illuminated to mark the event. Devotees in large number throng the Gurudwara from early morning to offer their prayers.
In case you are in Delhi around this festival, then do not miss the golden opportunity to visit any of the following gurudwaras known for their Gurpurab celebrations. In the capital, one can see the cheerful and overflowing crowd in Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Gurudwara Moti Bagh Sahib, Gurudwara Nanak Piao Sahib, Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.
Photo by UnTapping The World
Punjab looks amazing during the full moon day of Karthik (October/November). The whole state is seen in the wonderful mood with the revellers who find themselves busy in celebrating the holy Gurupurab.