Guru Nanak Jayanti
Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world and is one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. The day marks the birthday of Guru Nanak Devji- the First Guru of the Sikhs and the founder of Sikhism.
Guru Nanak Devji was born on 14th April 1469, in Roi-Bhoi-di Talwandi in Pakistan which is now known by the name of Nankana Sahib. The birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib falls on Kartik Poornima, i.e., on full moon day in the auspicious month of Kartik. The celebrations are especially colourful in Punjab and Haryana.
The day prior to the Guru Nanak Jayanti, a procession is organized which is led by the Panj Pyaras – The Five Beloved Ones. The procession is headed by the ‘Panj Pyaras’ carrying the Sikh flag, known as the Nishan Sahib and the Palki – the palanquin carrying the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The procession is lead by teams of singers singing hymns, brass bands playing different tunes and devotees singing the chorus. The interesting part of the procession is the ‘Gatka’ teams – the Martial Arts team that display their skills at swordsmanship and martial arts in the procession. The entire procession of devotees, singers and martial arts team proceeds through the streets and lanes of the town, which are covered with buntings and decorated especially for this occasion.
On the day of the Gurpurab, the day begins early in the morning with the singing of morning hymns together with lectures and recitation of hymns in praise of the Guru. After that, a special community lunch or Langar is arranged at the Gurudwara Sahib. The idea behind the free communal lunch is that people should be offered food in the spirit of service to the community, equality towards all humans and sublime devotion for God.