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Guru Nanak Dev Ji: History, Significance and More

By MayukhaNovember 08, 2023
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Hey there, awesome readers! In the Sikh community, they have some super cool festivals, and guess what? These festivals are all about celebrating the birthdays of some really important people called Sikh Gurus. Sikh Gurus were likewise and spiritual leaders who guided the Sikh religion for more than 250 years.


Shri Guru Nanak Ji’s birthday


Also Check: Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Biography


The biggest, most special festival in the Sikh community is the birthday of the very first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It's so important that they even have a fancy name for it – Guru Nanak Jayanti, or Gurpurab festival. People who follow Sikhism celebrate this day with tons of happiness all around the country.


But here's the fun part – it's not just Sikhs who get in on the fun. Even some of their Hindu friends join in to celebrate Shri Guru Nanak Ji’s birthday. They head to special places called Gurudwaras and read from the Sikh holy book, the "Guru Granth Sahib." It's a bit like a big birthday party where everyone gets together to have a great time.


Sikh folks also decorate their homes, throw awesome parties, and visit a super famous place called the Golden Temple in Amritsar to say some prayers. It's a fantastic and joyful time for everyone! 


When is Guru Nanak Jayanti?

So, you might be wondering, "When exactly is Guru Nanak Dev Ji's Birthday?" Well, it's a pretty fascinating time! This fantastic festival is celebrated on the day of Kartik Purnima, which happens to be the 15th day of the Kartik month according to the Hindu calendar. And if you prefer the Gregorian calendar (the one with all those familiar months like January and November), you'll be thrilled to know that Guru Nanak Jayanti usually falls in the month of November. This year Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti falls on 27th of November. So, it's a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season with some extra special celebrations!


Also Check for: Essay on Guru Nanak Dev Ji - Essay for Students in English


Why do we Celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti? 

Well, that's a great question, and the answer is just as fascinating!


Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the man of the hour, was an extraordinary spiritual thinker. Guru Nanak Dev Ji birth place is called Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi, which today is in the Sheikhupura District of Pakistan. In fact, there's a special place known as Nankana Sahib in Pakistan where a Gurdwara was built to honor his birthplace. It's like a super cool monument where people go to pay their respects.


Now, here's the exciting part of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s story: even as a young kid, he was super interested in all things divine – like spirituality, religions, and God. He didn't just stay put; he traveled to different parts of the country and even abroad to share his message of love, brotherhood, and wisdom with people.


Guru Nanak Dev Ji had this incredible connection with God through prayers, and his teachings continue to inspire millions of Sikh devotees to this very day. He's like the superhero of Sikhism because he's the one who kick-started it all back in the 15th century. You can think of his teachings as the heart and soul of Sikhism, and they're all collected in a holy book called the Guru Granth Sahib.


The main message of the Guru Granth Sahib is all about "ik onkar," which means there's only one God who's present in every single creation and holds the key to eternal truth. The whole Sikh religion is built around this idea, and it's like a reminder that the creator of the universe is just one – God.


So, now you've got the scoop on why Guru Nanak Jayanti is such a big deal. It's a day to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s incredible legacy, his amazing achievements, and the awesome things he brought to humanity through his teachings. Next up, we'll dive into how the Gurupurab festival is celebrated, and trust me, it's pretty awesome! 


How is Guru Nanak Jayanti Celebrated?

Guru Nanak Jayanti isn't just any old celebration; it's one of the biggest and most sacred festivals in the Sikh religion, and people look forward to it all year long. When this special day arrives, it's time to get the party started!


Two Days Before the Festival:

The Guru Nanak Jayanti extravaganza kicks off with something called "Akhand Path." This is like a 48-hour marathon of reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. It's a non-stop reading party that gets the energy building two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti.


A Day Before the Festival:

As the big day draws near, there's this fantastic procession called "Nagar Kirtan" that happens. Picture this: five amazing folks, known as the "Panj Pyaras" or the "Five Beloved Ones," lead the way. They proudly carry the Sikh triangular flag, Nishan Sahib, and a Palkhi (which is like a fancy palanquin).


During this procession, the Holy Guru Granth Sahib is placed in the Palkhi, and everyone follows along, singing hymns and saying prayers together. There's even a cool band playing traditional instruments and showing off their martial arts skills with some pretend battles and fights. The streets are decorated with flags and flowers, and the whole point of this colorful parade is to spread the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and highlight his incredible contributions to society.


The Day of the Festival:

Now, the moment we've all been waiting for – the actual day of Guru Nanak Jayanti! People wake up early, head to Gurudwaras (Sikh temples), and start the day with singing "Asa-di-Var" and sharing good wishes for Guru Nanak Jayanti.


Priests recite verses from the sacred Guru Granth Sahib, and then something wonderful happens – it's time for "Langar." Langar is like a grand food feast, and it's open to people of all religions. Everyone is welcome, and they're served delicious dishes and other goodies.


The concept of Langar is pretty awesome because it's all about providing food to anyone who needs it, regardless of things like caste, class, religion, or gender. There's a heartwarming story behind it – when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was just 12 years old, his dad gave him money to make a good bargain, but instead, he used it to feed a group of hungry saints. That's how the tradition of Langar started, and it's all about carrying on his legacy of serving mankind.


The Guru Nanak Jayanti celebration doesn't stop when the sun goes down. Devotees continue to gather in Gurudwaras, performing prayers and hymns. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth date is April 15, 1469 and is believed to have taken place at 1:20 AM, so it's a late-night celebration filled with singing the Gurbani, which are important compositions from the Sikh Gurus found in the Guru Granth Sahib. 


And here's a cool bonus – Guru Nanak Jayanti is so special that it's even a public holiday in Punjab, Haryana, and many other states in India. So, it's a day of fun, faith, and festivities for everyone to enjoy!


Conclusion

Guru Nanak Jayanti stands as one of India's most revered and momentous celebrations, honoring the invaluable teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji found in the sacred Guru Granth Sahib. This day holds profound significance in the Sikh community, spreading boundless joy and excitement that resonates worldwide.


As we embrace this year's festivities, may the wisdom and teachings of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji light the way toward a fulfilling and righteous path in life. Here's to a joyous and harmonious Guru Nanak Jayanti for all!