In our country, India, there are people of all cultures, ethnicities, religions, and ways of dressing. However, despite their differences, people share a commonality, and that is the festival. Like everyone in Hinduism celebrates their holidays together, everyone in other religions likewise Sikhs do the same for their celebrations. However, they follow the Sikh calendar. Sikhs and Punjabis from around the world and people in India participate in the festivities with tremendous zeal. Astrotalk has put together a list below for the Sikh holidays using the Sikh calendar 2023.
The Sikh calendar 2023 in India mainly includes the birth anniversary and martyrdom of ten Sikh Gurus. His birthdays, like Gurupurab or the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, are celebrated with great enthusiasm. On this particular day, processions, palky, city kirtan, langar, etc. are done on the road. People are seen dancing to folk tunes and performing Giddha and Bhangra. Also, people go to the Gurudwaras to bow their heads on this day.
|January 05, 2023||Thursday||Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti|
|January 13, 2023||Friday||Maghi - Lohri|
|March 07, 2023||Tuesday||Holi|
|March 08, 2023||Wednesday||Hola Mohalla|
|April 14, 2023||Friday||Vaisakhi|
|April 18, 2023||Tuesday||Guru Angad Dev Jayanti|
|June 16, 2023||Friday||Guru Arjan Dev Sahab Jayanti|
|October 20, 2023||Friday||The birth of Guru Granth|
|November 09, 2023||Thursday||Diwali|
|November 24, 2023||Friday||The martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur|
|November 27, 2023||Monday||Guru Nanak Jayanti|
Guru Nanak Jayanti, popularly known as Gurupurab. The day of Kartik Purnima is celebrated all over the world. On this occasion, Nagar Kirtan is organized a day before the Guru Parv. Many devotees visit the Gurdwara on this day, where hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib are sung, called kirtan, followed by langar. There is a famous Gurudwara named Nanak Piao near Gujranwala in Delhi.
Lohri marks the change of seasons and is celebrated in northern India, especially in Punjab. It is celebrated every year on 13th January with great pomp. People collect some wood and cow dung on this day and light a fire. They walk around it singing and dancing. They offer sesame, Rewari, groundnut, etc., in the fire and distribute it among the people there.
This festival marks the harvesting season and is celebrated every year on the 13th of April. People of the Sikh community celebrate this festival, as the Khalsa was founded on this day by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh. Sikhs do most of the auspicious work on this day.
The festival of Diwali is celebrated by most communities in India, as Hindus celebrate it as the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Similarly, Sikhs celebrate this day to mark the return of their sixth Guru, Guru Gobind Sahib Ji, from Gwalior Fort.
Hola Mahalla is made up of two words: 'Mock Fight.' It is celebrated the day after Holi and was started by Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Anandpur Sahib. During this festival in 2023, mock battles are arranged between two classes of people to train them to face the enemy.
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The word Sikh refers to a disciple or learner. Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave the basics of this religion in the 15th century. This practiced religion is quite different from Islam and Hinduism. This religion believes in one God and emphasises the equality of all human beings. The three main principles of Sikhism are to remember God, earn an honest living, and donate 1/10 of the income to the welfare of others.
The place of worship in Sikhism is called a Gurdwara, which is not only a place of worship but also provides shelter and food to visitors. It usually displays a saffron-colored triangular 'Nishan Sahib' with a section, which is a symbol of Sikhism and also signals the presence of the Gurdwara to the people. There is no designated seating area because all gurdwaras treat visitors equally and everyone sits in the same place equally.
There is continuous singing of Gurbani hymns in the Gurudwara. Many people who frequent the Gurudwara find calm and joy in these hymns. Here, lectures relating to the gurus' life lessons are occasionally delivered. Every gurudwara has a shared kitchen, where langar is prepared for everyone. There is a special arrangement for the distribution of langar, where every person sits side by side. This means there is no caste, creed, rich and poor discrimination in this religion. All of these differentiate themselves from traditional constraints. There are Gurdwaras in every country, and they are open to all. One can come there and have langar chhak (dining while sitting in the courtyard).
The holy scripture of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, was compiled by the fifth Guru, Arjan Dev Ji. It contains verses from all the Gurus and some saints whose teachings were similar to the Guru. It is a treasure trove of spiritual knowledge, paving the way for humanity's light. Sikhs revere the 10 Gurus who deliver the spiritual message of a timeless God, compiled in the Guru Granth Sahib.
The ten Gurus' names in Sikhism are as follows -
Guru Nanak Dev Ji- Guru Nanak was born on the day of Kartik Purnima in 1469 at Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. He was the first Sikh Guru who gave the message of equality and social justice for all, irrespective of caste, creed, or colour. He emphasised that God is one, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is genuine and fearless. He is not a symbol of enmity towards anyone. He is away from the cycle of birth and death.
Guru Ramdas Ji- Guru Ram Das is the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. He has written many spiritual songs called Gurbani. Some of them are related to marriage and engagement ceremonies etc. He was the founder of the city of Amritsar, formerly known as Ramdaspur. He invited people to settle in the town, set up their businesses, and bless them with prosperity. The city has a gurdwara known as Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple), the holiest place of worship for Sikhs worldwide. There is a lake around the gurdwara, which has healing power. The Gurdwara, also known as Harimandir Sahib, has four doors reflecting the principle of equality.
Guru Har Krishna Ji- Guru Har Krishna is the eighth Guru of the Sikhs. He was given this throne at the age of 5. Some people were surprised and questioned his being a guru at this age. A Brahmin named Lal Chand challenged Guruji and asked him to interpret the verses of the Gita. On this, Guru Ji asked him to bring any person of his choice. Then he got a man named Lal Chand Chhajju, who was illiterate and also deaf and dumb. Guru Ji placed his mace on Chhajju's head, and Chhajju immediately became enlightened and recited Gita to Lal Chand's satisfaction. Lal Chand felt very ashamed and apologized for his mistake and became a disciple of Guru Harkrishna Sahib. From there, Guru Sahib proceeded toward Delhi on the invitation of Raja Jai Singh. He stayed in his bungalow, which is now known as Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. Aurangzeb wanted to meet the then-Mughal emperor Guruji. But Guruji refused to meet him.
Meanwhile, an epidemic named chickenpox spread in Delhi. Guru Ji started treating the infected person. But then he realized that it was impossible to cure every person, so he put his feet in a pond and declared that whoever drank the water of this pond would be healed. Later he became a victim of an epidemic and left the world at 8.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji- Guru Gobind Singh Ji was born in Patna to the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Initially, he was known as Gobind Rai. At the age of 5, he left for Punjab. He started living in the city of Anandpur, which was founded by his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. When he was nine years old, he saw some Kashmiri Brahmins led by Kripa Ram go to his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, with a request to help him from the atrocities of the Mughal Emperor. This scene was witnessed by Guru Gobind Rai, who was only nine years old and wanted to know the problem with these Kashmiri Brahmins. On this, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib told Gobind Rai about the Mughal emperor's forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam. To stop this, he demanded the sacrifice of a holy spirit.
In response, Gobind Rai asked his father who was more significant than him. Then Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib advised the brahmins to tell Aurangzeb that if he successfully converted Guru Tegh Bahadur to Islam, we would all follow in his footsteps. Guru Tegh Bahadur was now satisfied that his son could shoulder the Guru's responsibility, and he left for Delhi to face Aurangzeb. In Delhi, Aurangzeb asked him to accept any of three conditions: to accept Islam or perform miracles. Otherwise, be ready to sacrifice. Guru Sahib chose the third option and sacrificed his life at that place. Gurudwara Sheeshganj Sahib is located in Delhi. His body was cremated in Delhi, where Gurdwara Rakab Ganj is located. At the same time, his head was taken to Anandpur Sahib by a devotee named Jaita and cremated by Gobind Rai, and the place was called Sheeshganj.
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