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Date: 14th April, 2015

India is a land of myriad festivals; umpteen numbers of festivities are celebrated in this nation with great fervor. Baisakhi is one such Indian festival that is celebrated with loads of exuberance, mirth and jollity in Punjab and Haryana. Celebrated on the first day of Vaisakh month (April - May), this festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops. The harvest festival holds religious significance for people who belong to Sikh community.

Legends of Baisakhi Festival

Formation of Sikh Khalsa
People belong to Sikh community celebrate Baisakhi as the day of the formation of the Sikh Khalsa. On this pious day, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh gave up his life for his community. People with full devotion also celebrate Baisakhi as it marks the beginning of harvest season. Baisakhi is the day of merriment and feasting.

The Story of Five Sikhs
The story of most famous Sikhs revolves around this jubilant festival. This legend goes like this, one day Guru Gobind Singh thought to test his group of Sikhs. He went into a tent and called the first volunteer into the tent. Then he came out alone with a sword carrying the stains of blood. This happened with other volunteers as well. After this, Guru Gobind Singh disclosed that he had been coating the sword with a dead animal’s blood and all the Sikhs are safe.

Baisakhi Celebrations

Joyful festival of Baisakhi is rejoiced in the vivacious state of Punjab with high spirits. On this occasion, all the Gurudwaras are lit up and special prayers are conducted. As a part of rituals, the sacred book of Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib on this day and placed on a special throne. Then the book is read out at the Gurudwaras by the five priests (panch pyare) and chant holy verses from this sacred book.

After the chanting of mantras, Sikhs sip the amrita and take an oath to work for fellowship. Holy hymns are sung and traditional dance forms like Bhangra and Gidda are performed on Baisakhi. Sikhs also carry processions with colorful band of drummers, they sing holy songs and men carry swords as part of tradition. Food is an integral part of Baisakhi celebrations and at noon, sweetened semolina or Karah Prasad is prepared at home and distributed among the worshippers assembled at home.