Guru Nanak Jayanti 2024

15 November 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Guru Nanak Jayanti, the most important of all the Gurupurabs or anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus, is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, who started in a new wave in religion. The first of the 10 Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak was born in 1469 at Talwandi near Lahore in what is now a part of Pakistan. The refusal to accept the practice of several religions in society, professing different deities drove the much-travelled leader to break free from the shackles of religious diversity and establish a religion based on a single God who is the eternal truth.

The festive event of Guru Nanak Jayanti includes the three-day Akhand Path, during which the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs is read out from the beginning to the end without a break in Gurudwaras. On the day of the main event, the Granth Sahib is ornamented with flowers and carried on a float in a proper procession throughout a village or city where Sikhs live. The procession is headed by five armed guards, representatives of the ‘Panj Pyaras, who carry the Nishan Sahibs of the Sikh flag showcasing their faith. Religious hymns from the Granth Sahib are sung throughout the procession and are a special feature of the event. The procession finally leads to a Gurudwara, where the gathered devotees get together for a community lunch, which is called Langar.

This festival is a national holiday in India and is celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm in many parts of India. While some scholars and organizations believe the birthday of Guru Nanak should be celebrated on Vaisakhi, which falls on April 14, according to the original Nanakshahi Calendar. However, people prefer to continue the tradition of celebrating it on the Full Moon Day of the Karthik month.