Brimming Joy – On Baisakhi
India has predominantly emerged as a farming nation. The rural portions of the country come alive with fields and cattle. Which is why in every part of India farmers celebrate festivities in the attempt to appease the gods to bless them with an abundant harvest in the future. For instance, Onam is a harvest festival specific to Kerela. There is Makar Sankranti that is popularly celebrated in Gujarat. The celebrations usually take place in the month of August and September. Similarly the Punjabi’s from Punjab celebrate Baisakhi, in the month of April.
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On the 14th of April 2018, the land of Punjab will come alive with colours. Farmers usually celebrate Baisakhi (the harvest festival) with much gusto and jubilation. Song and dance fills the air with excitement. The energetic beating of the ‘Dhol’ invigorates people to part-take in the traditional ‘Bhagra’ dance. But ‘Baisakhi’ is also celebrated for other reasons.
It was on this very day that the ‘Khalsa Pant’ was installed. The Khalsa Pant is the Sikh warrior clan initiated by the last Guru of the Sikh’s, Guru Gobind Singh. The people of this clan are ardent follows of the Sikh faith. The Sikhs were installed as warriors in 1699 during the festival of Baisakhi. Upon the initiation of the clan of warriors the Guru also fostered seeds of unity, righteousness, and nationalism among his people in a certain congregation at Anadpur Sahib. On this very day the five disciples of the Guru, were administered as Singh’s, by being asked to consume the divine nectar. This automatically also makes keepers of the faith. The Guru Granth Sahib was established as the guiding light to the members of the community.
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On this day, children are encouraged to showcase their talents, and are suitably rewarded by schools and colleges. People walk around in traditional clothing, enjoying the lip-smacking Punjabi cuisine. The dishes include an array of flavored cooling Lassi’s (a liquid sweetened yogurt portion), ‘Chole’ (A chick peas dish sautéed in onions and flavored in spices, ‘Makke di Roti’ (flat breads prepared using cornflower), ‘Sarso da Saag’ (A vegetable prepared making the leaves of the mustard plant) and last but not the least, ‘Phirni’ (A sweetened condensed milk preparation finished off with fragrant saffron and dry fruits.)
With migrations and relocations taking place at a quickened pace, the fun-loving people of Punjab take their culture with them. There are number of ‘Gurdwaras’ (a place of worship for the Sikh’s) around the world that organize ‘Langar’ on a grand scale. A free meal is offered to the people of every community at the ‘Langar’. The food is delectable, and volunteers lovingly serve those who are eating. ‘Kada Prasad’ (A sweetened flour based dessert, that is blessed by the Guru’s and offered as a give back to the devotees) is distributed to the believers visiting the Gurdwara’s. Processions mark the highlight of the occasion of Baisakhi.
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We at Kyra & Vir wish our readers a wonderful Baisakhi. We wish that your lives be filled with abundant bouts of health, wealth and happiness.