Festival of Vaisakhi also known as Baisakhi is celebrated with joy and fervor on April 13 across the world. It's believed to be one of three festivals chosen by Guru Amar Das to be celebrated by Sikhs, the other two being Diwali and Maghi. The festival marks the start of the Sikh New Year as well as the harvesting time of Rabi crops. It's the biggest festival for Sikhs in the sense that it marks the establishment of Khalsa Panth in 1699 by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
In the village of Punjab and Haryana, the day of Baisakhi is full of excitement as men and women cheerfully move towards the fields to celebrate the occasion. Their celebration consists of performing traditional dances, Bhangra and Gidda in groups on beat of dhol. It is also celebrated by framers as a thanksgiving day. After taking early bath they visit temples or gurudwaras and thank the Almighty for the bountiful harvest and pray for their better future.
Sikhs celebrate this festival with great devotion and joy. They take an early bath and go to the nearby Gurudwara in new clothes to participate in special prayer meet marked for the day. A special ardas or kirtan is held after which Kada Prasad is distributed among everyone. Later in the day, people sit in a row and eat Langar or community lunch prepared by the volunteers.
Major celebrations are held in Golden Temple, Amritsar to commemorate the establishment of Khalsa Panth. It's believed to have been witnessed by many Sikhs who specially traveled from afar for this occasion to see Guru Gobind Singh ji initiate the first five members of the Khalsa. Nagar Kirtans are held across the city honoring the Panj Pyaras. The day ends with with people exchanging greetings and gifts with friends and relatives.
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