Every Indian irrespective of his or her religion is familiar with the Spring harvest festival of Vaisakhi. Also spelt as Baisakhi, it is celebrated throughout the country with various names: ‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam, ‘Naba Barsha’ (First Rain) in West Bengal, ‘Vaishakha’ in Bihar, ‘Vishu’ in Kerala and ‘Puthandu’ in Tamil Nadu. In Punjab, this day is marked as the birthday of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh who formed ‘Khalsa’ on the same date.
Farmers observe Baisakhi as the beginning of a new harvesting season, ‘Vasanta’. In 2019, Vaisakhi will be celebrated on 14th April with utmost joy and enthusiasm all over the country.
Vaisakhi History and significance
Also known as the Sikh New Year, Vaisakhi is observed either on 13th or 14th day of April, every year. Vaisakhi is being celebrated in Punjab for many centuries. According to the Sikh literature, this day marks the birthday of their tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh who chose this day for laying the foundation of Sikh brotherhood, ‘Khalsa’ in the year 1699.
The northern region of India; mainly Punjab and Haryana, observe this day as an ancient Spring Harvest Festival. Farmers seek blessings from their agricultural land and begin harvesting their first crop of the season. As per the Hindu calendar, this day is observed on the first day of Vaisakh month i.e., April-May, every year.
Vaisakhi Celebrations across India
As mentioned above, Vaisakhi or Baisakhi is celebrated with various customs all over India. Mainly associated with the Sikh community, this day calls for an occasion to visit Gurudwara where devotees offer their services for preparing a holy feast known as ‘Lungar’ for the society.
Major celebrations take place at the Golden Temple in Amritsar where millions of Sikhs and Hindus visit to offer prayers.
Farmers treat this day as ‘Thanksgiving’; they express gratitude towards the Almighty for the blessing of the harvest and beginning of a new season. In Bihar, Vaisakhi is observed as a day to honour the Sun God, Surya. People in Kashmir, organize festivities and a ceremonial bath for celebrating Vaisakhi whereas people in Himachal Pradesh, visit the Jwalamukhi Temple for taking a holy dip in the natural hot spring.
Best Places to Observe Vaisakhi Celebration in India
- Tamil Nadu
- West Bengal