Guru Nanak Jayanti is a major occasion celebrated enthusiastically among Sikhs across India. The festival is also called Gurupurab or Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav.
Guru Nanak Jayanti marks the birthday of Guru Nanak, the initial among the 10 Sikh Gurus. Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of the Gregorian calendar, October-November.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated with prayer processions, recitation of hymns, distribution of sweets, displays of martial arts, and community services.
Guru Nanak, the esteemed founder of Sikhism, played a vital role in shaping and fortifying the Sikh community. He was believed to be born on 14 April 1469, which is Vaisakhi (April-May) according to the Nanakshahi calendar.
However, some Sikh communities also celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti in Kartik Purnima or Kattak in Punjabi. Guru Nanak's remarkable contributions include composing 974 hymns.
His birthplace is Rai-Bhoi-Di Talwandi, now located in Pakistan. Guru Nanak is considered one of the 'greatest religious innovators of all time'.
He tirelessly travelled to propagate God's message of peace and enlightenment and developed many social and political spiritual platforms like Equity, Goodness and Virtue.
According to the Sikh Nanakshahi calendar, Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day in the 8th month of Kattak (August–September).
The month coincides with the month of Kartik (October–November) according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. In 2023, Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on Monday, November 27.
Sikhism is said to be the youngest religion globally, and celebrating this festival is as old as Sikhism itself. Two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti, the festivities begin within the Gurudwaras.
The sacred event starts with an early morning procession called Prabhat Pheris at Gurudwaras while singing Asa-Di Var. The procession is adorned with flags and flowers and proceeds through the streets.
On this auspicious day, people diligently clean their homes and decorate them beautifully. Visits gurudwaras and recite verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism.
The recitation is also called Akhand Path, which means ‘unhindered prayer’ and begins 48 hours before Guru Nanak Jayanti. The sacred Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a palanquin while people sing religious hymns in groups and also play traditional instruments.
A procession called Nagarkirtan is also performed, led by 5 men called Panj Pyaras carrying Sikh triangular flags.
Some individuals engage in mock battles, and some showcase their martial arts skills, known as gatka, using traditional Sikh weapons to demonstrate their swordsmanship on this day. The festival also includes many other festivities, and a grand communal meal called langar is also organised.
While Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated throughout India, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand etc., its enthusiastic celebrations also extend outside India, such as in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
To witness the splendor of this festival, one can visit Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan. On this day, devotees especially flock to the Golden Temple, Amritsar, to worship and offer prayers to Guru Nanak.
It is said that every year on this day, the Akal Takht (seats of powers) in the Golden Temple is illuminated. Guru Nanak Jayanti is also extremely observed in Gurdwara Janam Asthan or Gurudwara Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak.
Various festivities, including langar, karah prasad, spiritual music and kirtan and a common prayer session take place at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on this day.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. This festival is also known as ‘Prakash Utsav of Guru Nanak’. This festival is one of the sacred festivals of Sikhs, but Hindus also enjoy it.
The Sikh community regards Guru Nanak as the supreme power of their community and worships him with unwavering faith and devotion. This three-day festival is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm.
This is all about Guru Nanak Jayanti. We wish you a very happy Guru Nanak Jayanti. May Wahe Guru Ji enshrine you with immense faith, love and happiness. If you have any queries or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We appreciate our reader's valuable comments.
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