Also known as Vaisakhi, Baisakhi is an ancient festival of harvest, which also marks the beginning of the new year of the Sikhs as well as the foundation of the Khalsa in 1699 at Anandpur Sahib by the Guru Gobind Singh who is the 10th Guru of the Sikhs. Traditionally, it is the fiesta of the Punjab and Haryana states, which also commemorates the start of the Baisakh month as per the solar Nanakshahi calendar. When this is translated as per the English calendar, it comes to mostly April 14.

The festival has varying significance in the rest parts of India. For Orissa, Kerala, west Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Nepal; it is the celebration of the Hindu solar year. On the other hand, in Himachal Pradesh, people revere the Hindu Goddess Jwalamukhi and in Bihar, people worship the Sun-god. In Kovalam, it is known as the Tamil New Year. In addition, many people see this day as the day of bathing in holy streams such as Ganga and Yamuna. Continue reading “Baisakhi – The Sikh festival of harvest and new year” »