Most of the festivals in the Sikh community are mainly associated with celebrating the anniversaries of ten renowned Sikh Gurus. These Sikh Gurus are simply the spiritual speakers & thinkers who contributed to the Sikh religion for more than 250 years.
Thus, the most important, & sacred Sikh festival in the community is none other than the birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev. Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as the Gurpurab festival, is the most important festival for the followers of the religion of Sikhism, celebrated with utmost joy all over the nation.
Not just Sikhs, but even Hindus celebrate the day to commemorate the birthday of Guru Nanak. They pay a visit to Gurudwaras and recite verses from the holy book of Sikhism “Guru Granth Sahib” on this day. Sikh devotees decorate their homes, organize grand get-togethers, and visit Golden Temple, Amritsar to offer prayers.
Also Read - Essay on Guru Nanak Dev Ji
The festival is celebrated on the day of Kartik Purnima, which is the 15th lunar day in the month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar, and usually takes place in November by the Gregorian calendar.
Guru Nanak Jayanti 2022 - This year, Guru Nanak Jayanti will be observed on Tuesday, 08 November 2022. It will mark the 553rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, also known as Prakash Utsav.
Guru Nanak was a renowned spiritual thinker, born in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi, present-day Sheikhupura District in Pakistan. A Gurdwara was built at his birthplace in the city known as Nankana Sahib, located in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
At a very tender age, Guru Nanak developed an interest in divine studies, spirituality, religions, and god. He traveled to different states in the country and abroad to spread the message of love, brotherhood, and teachings to enlighten the people.
He was known for his strong connection to God through prayers and his teachings are followed by millions of Sikh devotees even in the present day. Guru Nanak is regarded as a spiritual teacher who founded Sikhism in the 15th century. His teachings are recited in temples and are presented in the Guru Granth Sahib.
The main verses of Guru Granth Sahib explained the message of ik onkar - one God that resides in every creation and comprises the eternal truth. The entire Sikh religion revolves around this religious text. The idea behind the book is the belief that the creator of the universe is one ie. God. Now you know what is Guru Nanak Jayanti. On this day, the followers of Guru Nanak celebrate his legacy, achievements, and contribution to humankind through his teachings. Let’s know how the Gurupurab festival is celebrated.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the most popular, renowned, and sacred festivals in the Sikh religion, people eagerly await the day every year and celebrate the festival on a mass level.
The Guru Nanak Jayanti celebration starts with the non-stop recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy book of Sikhs for 48 hours. Popularly known as Akhand Path, it begins almost two days before the Guru Nanak Jayanti.
A day before Guru Nanak birthday, a procession called Nagar Kirtan is organized. It is held by the five men, known as “Panj Pyaras” or the “Five Beloved Ones” who are holding the Sikh triangular flag, Nishan Sahib, and the Palkhi (Palanquin).
The Holy Guru Granth Sahib is placed in the Palkhi during the procession and it is led by people singing hymns and reciting prayers in groups. Also, a band plays traditional musical instruments and showcases their martial art skills through mock battles and fights.
This exciting procession passes through streets adorned with flags & flowers. The agenda behind this procession is to make people aware of the sacred teachings of Guru Nanak along with his immense contribution to society.
After the joyful processions and the readings of the holy Guru Granth Sahib, the main day of the festival arrives.
On the festival day, people pay a visit to Gurudwaras early in the morning, sing Asa-di-Var, and exchange Guru Nanak Jayanti wishes. Verses of the sacred Guru Granth Sahib are recited by the priests and “Langar” is prepared in the afternoon. It is a grand feast where people from all religions are welcomed and offered specially made dishes, and other offerings.
Originally, “Langar” is a Persian word that translates as “an almshouse” or “a place for the poor and needy people” ie. the Sikh community kitchen. The concept of Langar is to provide food to anyone in need, irrespective of caste, class, religion, or gender.
There is a story behind it. It is said that one day, Guru Nanak was given some money by his father when he was 12 years old to perform a “Sacha Sauda” ie. a good bargain. His father was a well-known trader in the village and wanted to teach him the family business. But Guru Nanak came home with nothing but money spent on a group of saints who had been hungry for days.
On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, the Langar is organized to commemorate his deep thought and his passion for the service of mankind.
The Guru Nanak Jayanti celebration is held till late into the night as devotees gather in Gurudwaras and perform prayers, and hymns as it is believed that the birth of Guru Nanak took place at 1:20 AM. Devotees sing the Gurbani which are the important compositions of the Sikh Gurus mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated as a public holiday in Punjab, Haryana, and many other states in India.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the most sacred, significant, and widely celebrated festivals in India that marks the valuable teachings of Guru Nanak mentioned in the Holy book Guru Granth Sahib. It is an important day in the Sikh community which is celebrated with utmost joy and excitement all over the world.
This year, we hope that the holy teachings of Guru Nanak guide you toward the correct path in life. Wishing all a very happy Guru Nanak Jayanti.