Not just for the Sikh community, Baisakhi also holds a place of great importance among the Hindus and the Buddhists.
Baisakhi also known as Vaisakhi is a festival that marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year and the traditional solar New Year for the Hindus. The harvest festival holds a place of great importance among farmers and has a great historical and religious significance.
For the Sikh community, it’s considered as a foundation day of Khalsa Panth, a religious structure that manages the affairs of the global Khalsa community. While the Hindus believe that during Baisakhi Goddess Ganga descended on earth and in her honour, people till date gather along the sacred Ganges River for ritual baths.
Baisakhi 2017 festival which is celebrated on April 13 or April 14 every year also has astrological significance as it marks the sun’s entry into Mesh rashi and is celebrated all over India by different names.
Importance in the Sikh community
According to legend, in the year of 1699 after the ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, for refusing to convert to Islam, the Tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh gave a unique identity to his followers by establishing the Khalsa Panth – also known as the Order of the Pure Ones. He administered Amrit (nectar) to his first batch of five disciples, turning them into warriors who would go on to defend religious freedom. He also freed the opressed under an obstinate social system by inviting them to join this new religion where everyone is equal.
When is Baisakhi ?
Baisakhi 2017 is on April 14, Friday
The auspicious festival of Baisakhi is celebrated on first day of Vaisakh month (April-May) according to the Nanakshahi calendar. Hence, the festival of Baisakhi is also popularly known as Vaisakhi. According to Gregorian Calendar, Baisakhi falls on April 13 every year and on April 14 once in 36 years. This variation in date is due to the fact that date of Baisakhi is reckoned according to the Indian solar calendar and not the lunar calendar.
Time for Harvest of Rabi Crop
Vaisakhi marks the beginning of the new spring year and the end of the harvest of rabi crop in India. The festival is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in agriculture dominated state of Punjab and Haryana. Here, farmers thank God for the bountiful harvest and pray for prosperity in the coming year. To celebrate the day, people wake up early and take a dip in the holy rivers. Soon after, cries of “Jatta aai Baisakhi” rent the skies as the people of Punjab attired in their best clothes break into the Bhangra dance to express their joy.
Astrological Significance of Baisakhi Date
The date of Baisakhi has major astrological significance as it marks the sun’s entry into Mesh Rashi. Some people therefore know Baisakhi as Mesha Sankranti. The auspicious date of Baisakhi is celebrated as ‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam, ‘Naba Barsha’ in Bengal, ‘Puthandu’ in Tamil Nadu, ‘Pooram Vishu’ in Kerala and ‘Vaishakha’ in Bihar.
Significance of Baisakhi Date in Sikhism
The date of Baisakhi festival has tremendous significance in Sikhism. They celebrate the festival as a collective birthday of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh and the foundation of the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood) in 1699. Sikhs all over the world celebrate the day with lot of enthusiasm and joy.