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While Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurupurab is a Sikh occasion, the celebration is appreciated by numerous communities in India, including Hindus.
Clearly, this is a particularly significant occasion in the Indian territory of Punjab. This day marks the birth of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev. This year will be the 553rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is a time of happiness and fun, but the celebration also focuses on the lessons of Guru Nanak. This occasion begins on the full moon day during the month of Katak.
Since lunar timings fluctuate every year, Guru Nanak Jayanti is observed during October or November in Gregorian time. This year the day will be observed on November 8.
Who was Guru Nanak Sahib?
Image of Guru Nanak Jayanti
Before Nanak’s introduction to the world in 1469 CE, India was essentially characterized by a social order known as the caste system. This framework ensured that poor people remained poor and well-off people continued to flourish. Guru Nanak realized that this framework was unjustifiable, so he subjected his life to fighting against it.
After serious contemplation and self-reflection, Guru Nanak had a dream that showed him the true goal of God. According to this view, India’s proper foundations and caste indiscrimination made no sense for interacting with God. A crucial part of Guru Nanak’s vision was for all people to have an immediate association with God. This made Guru Nanak reject the priests and the Holy Vedas of the Hindu scriptures.
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Guru Nanak was first identified as a blasphemer who denied the teachings of God. All this changed when Dalits realized that their lives could be greatly improved under Guru Nanak’s way of thinking.
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Gradually, many people saw Guru Nanak as a hero. Guru Nanak also showed his devotees that there was no need for the usual methods of fasting and pilgrimages to meet God. He proposed that his devotees should simply engage in ethical living and love God through prayers.
After Guru Nanak eliminated the caste system, the priests and emperors saw him as an enemy. He was even arrested once when he challenged Emperor Babar. After his death, his vision was transferred to the other 9 Sikh Gurus.
How is Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated?
Guru Nanak Jayanti Wishes
There are different ways in which Sikhs and different Indians celebrate this day to respect the life and lessons of Guru Nanak. Some of the activities include:
Akhand Path: Before the beginning of Guru Nanak Jayanti, a progression of readings is done in important Sikh regions. Known as Akhand Path, this event continues for 48 hours. During Akhand Path, the main sonnets of the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred text of Sikhism, are probably presented. The best known prayer for this occasion is Japji Sahib and Sidh-Gosht.
Nagar Kirtan: During the day before the celebration, Sikhs perform Nagar Kirtan, a lively parade that attracts guests from all over the world. This parade is powered by the Beloved Five and the Sikh banner. The procession also includes artists, choreographers and military specialists.
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Langar: On the full moon day of the month of Katak, people celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti can partake in a free local lunch with their loved ones. After this dinner, Sikhs attend different evening prayer meetings.
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