About Baisakhi & How to Celebrate this Festival

Mar/15/2022 / by Richa Sharma
Vaisakhi
Image credits: Free Press Journal

Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi, is Punjab’s harvest festival. It is observed by people of all faiths. Apart from commemorating the harvest season, Baisakhi has religious importance for Sikhs. Baisakhi symbolizes the start of the Sikh calendar year.

When Is Baisakhi In India In 2022?

Baisakhi will fall on Thursday, April 14 this year. Baisakhi is joyfully and enthusiastically observed in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. On Vaisakhi, traditional folk dances are performed.

Baisakhi: The Harvest Festival

Vaisakhi
Image credits: Firstpost

Baisakhi festivities in the villages of Punjab and Haryana are vibrant and colorful. The highlight of the Baisakhi festivities is men and women performing traditional ‘Bhangra’ and ‘Gidda’ dances. On Baisakhi, gurdwaras conduct kirtans and Sikhs wash in rivers or lakes prior to visiting sacred locations. Additionally, the holy occasion is marked with community festivals and Nagar kirtan processions. This day also features dance acts such as Bhangra and Gidda. Individuals dress to the nines and share goodies.

Apart from the events listed before, fairs are also held on this day. Children and teens demonstrate their martial arts abilities alongside drummers and musicians, while adults wield swords; all of this adds to the festival’s excitement.

Customs and Traditions of Baisakhi

Vaisakhi
Image credits: Zeenews

Dress Worn On Baisakhi

Vaisakhi, as a celebration of the new spring, is an occasion when men, women, and children celebrate this wonderful event by purchasing new apparel, selecting the most vibrant and energetic of the bunch to express the crowd’s delight. For males, traditional Punjabi costume comprises a turban with a fan-like ornament worn with a kurta, waistcoat, rumaal or scarf, and lungi knotted around the waist, while ladies wear the traditional Salwar Kameez with the most festive and showy jewelry. This attire’s multicolored splendor depicts the vivacious and effervescent essence of the Punjabi way of life.

Food Served On Baisakhi

Numerous food booths are put up at Baisakhi fairs to keep the throng hydrated and energetic during the night’s festivities. At the fair, quintessential Punjabi fare such as Chhole Bature, Achari mutton, Chicken saagwala, Sarson ka saag, kadhi chawal, dried fruit kheer, and the world-famous lassi are always available. These gourmet pleasures exemplify the Punjabis’ abiding passion for food and taste.

Why Is Baisakhi Observed?

Vaisakhi
Image credits: Gstatic

Baisakhi commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa Panth in 1699 by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The Khalsa Panth was founded after the execution of Guru Teg Bahadur Singh, the ninth Sikh Guru, for refusing to accept Aurangzeb’s demands and refusing to convert to Islam. During the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Khalsa Panth was a group of Sikh soldiers who battled for religious independence.

Baisakhi’s History and Significance

Baisakhi was one of three holidays chosen by the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das, for Sikhs to celebrate. Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, was publicly beheaded by the Mughals in 1699. This happened as a result of his readiness to confront the Mughal invaders and safeguard the cultural identity of Hindus and Sikhs whom Mughal king Aurangzeb wanted to convert to Islam. On Baisakhi day in 1699, his son, Guru Gobind Rai, rallied the Sikhs and inspired them via his words and acts, conferring the title of Singh or lion onto them and himself, thus becoming Guru Gobind Singh.

The five Ks of Sikhism were accepted, and the Guru system was abolished, with Sikhs exhorted to embrace the Granth Sahib as their everlasting guru. Thus, Baisakhi is marked as the coronation of the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, as well as the founding of Sikhism’s Khalsa Panth, endowing it with tremendous significance in Sikhism and making it one of the largest Sikh holidays.

Baisakhi was also the anniversary of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, in which British colonists imprisoned and slaughtered a peaceful gathering of Indians, serving as a spur for the Indian independence cause.

How Are Baisakhi And Vaisakhi Different?

Vaisakhi may alternatively be spelled Baisakhi. There is no discernible distinction between the two. In Prakrit and Apbhramsa, there is no difference between the sounds ‘va’ and ‘ba’. As a result, the festival is known as Vaisakhi or Baisakhi.

 FAQs About Baisakhi

What does Vaisakhi represent?

Baisakhi is a Sikh and Hindu spring harvest celebration. It is often observed on April 13 or 14. It is the Sikh new year and celebrates Guru Gobind Singh’s founding of the Khalsa Panth of soldiers in 1699.

On Baisakhi, which crop is harvested?

For farmers in northwest India, particularly Punjab, Baisakhi is a sign of optimism since it corresponds with the harvest of wheat, the region’s largest rabi (winter-sown) crop.

What is done during Baisakhi?

Sikhs partake in Nagar Kirtans on the eve of Baisakhi and spend the day paying their tributes to the Khalsa. Additionally, they chant religious hymns, perform songs, and pay homage to the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikhs’ holy book.

On Baisakhi, what do you eat?

The following are some of the most frequently made foods during Baisakhi:

Kadhi.
Meethe Peeley Chawal
Kesar Phirni
Mango Lassi
Kada Prasad (Atta Halwa)

Conclusion

Now that you know everything about Baisakhi, it’s time to get ready to celebrate this festival with a lot of pomp and love! For more blogs about popular Indian festivals, keep reading Seema!

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