gurdwaras

8

Vaisakhi and Khalsa Sirjana Divas

Vaisakhi is a Punjabi harvest festival. This day is observed as a thanksgiving day by farmers, whereby they pay their tribute, thanking God for the abundant harvest and praying for future prosperity.

A tradition associated with harvesting is Aawat pauni, which involves people getting together to harvest the wheat; drums are played whilst people work. At the end of the day, people sing doha to the tunes of the drums, and perform different folk dances, including Bhangra, which traditionally is a harvest dance.

According to the Nanakshahi calendar, Vaisakhi represents also the Punjabi New Year (occurring on the first day of the solar month of Vaisakh). Fairs are held in many parts of Punjab, and even in other regions, to mark the new year and the harvesting season.

Vaisakhi is one of the three festivals chosen by Guru Amar Das to be celebrated by Sikhs. The festival bears a great significance for Sikhism, because on the Vaisakhi Day, in 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Khalsa. 

To mark the celebrations for Khalsa Sirjana Divas, Sikh devotees generally attend the Gurdwara before dawn with flowers and offerings. Processions through towns are also common. The main celebrations take place at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, in Talwandi Sabo (where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nine months and completed the recompilation of the Guru Granth Sahib), as well as in the Gurudwara Anandpur Sahib from Rupnagar (the birthplace of the Khalsa), and at the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar.