The best celebrations of Baisakhi and its Relevance!
Baisakhi is a vibrant festival of huge excitement and happiness celebrated especially in Punjab and popular in the whole of India. This marks the commencement of the new year among the Sikh community and is held during the harvesting season around the region. It usually falls around 13th or 14th April, celebrated as a form of gratitude to Almighty God for a bountiful harvest of crops. It involves merrymaking while performing folk dances, like gidda and bhangra, all about welcoming a great future. In the year 2020, it is celebrated on 14th April.
The day is also celebrated as a commemoration of the day when the tenth Sikh Guru founded the Khalsa Panth cult i.e. Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh decided to form a community of brave people who were ready to devote their lives to others in the year 1699, when people were treated miserably under the rule of the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The main agenda behind the formation of this was to inspire boldness and confidence in people so as to empower them to live their lives on their own terms. This gave birth to a new religion- Sikhism.
In other parts of the country too, this festival is celebrated with different names and traditions. Kerala celebrates this festival as an offer of their prayers and gratitude to Almighty God in the name of Vishu. The traditions also include gifting younger members of the family with something. Rongali Bihu is celebrated in Assam for a week. The first day includes people dressed in new attire and seeking blessings from the elders of their family. It is celebrated as welcoming of a new year with Vaishakha in Bihar. The day is considered benignant to start a new venture, and celebrated as PohelaBoishakh in West Bengal.
Some interesting facts about the festival
- The rituals and rites of the festival are usually performed on the banks of a river.
- ‘Karah Prasad’ is the best delicacy enjoyed during the festival which is offered in gurudwaras, people specially throng to gurudwaras for this.
- There will be holy recitals of passages and singing of kirtans and folk songs to mark the celebrations.
- In numerous cities, the Procession of Guru Granth Sahib is taken out by Sikh communities specifically on this occasion.
- Langar is another highlighting feature of the festival where everyone without discrimination is served meals in gurudwaras.
- As a traditional symbol of humanity, Kar Sewa ritual is performed where the daily chores of Sikh shrine is provided with assistance.
- Fairs are organized during Baisakhi where people can buy handicrafts and enjoy delectable dishes, especially in the state of Punjab.
- Some lip-smacking food items that are cooked in every home during the festival include makke di roti, butter chicken, Sarso ka saag, and others.
Best places to visit during Baisakhi Festival in India-
Visiting this place for Baisakhi can create memories that last for a lifetime, with the entire structure decked up with flowers and lights. This attracts a huge flock of tourists every year as it is one of the holiest shrines of the Sikh community. It is a marvel to see the magnificent architecture of this attraction built with marble and gold.
The memorial that commemorates the massacre of freedom fighters is a must-visit on this day. Jallianwala Bagh memorial was constructed by the government of India in the year of 1951 as a display of tragic incidents that will interest every history enthusiast. This public garden sprawled across 6.5 acres of land, is visited by devotees during Baisakhi for a peaceful celebration of the festival.
Representing the boundaries between the two nations, India and Pakistan are located at a distance of about 32 km from the city of Amritsar. Witness the popular Beating Retreat Ceremony as you stop by this place an hour before sunset. It includes the lowering of flags of both countries reminding the visitors of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters.
This reminds every visitor of the ruthless partition of 1947 which is indeed first of its kind. It showcases and tells stories of millions of victims of one of the most outrageous episodes in the history of India. Partition museum houses a great collection photographs, newspaper clippings, and other items donated by witnesses of the partition. Draws thousands of visitors from around the world, acquainting them with a legacy our freedom fighters left behind.