Vaisakh 2024

13 April 2024
Punjab,Jammu and Kashmir,Haryana    Regional holiday

Vaisakh is a new years celebration in both the Sikh and the Hindu faiths. Among the Sikhs who live in Malaysia and the region of northwestern India known as the Punjab, where the Sikh religion was founded, the first day of the month of Vaisakha is New Years Day. Because the date is based on the solar calendar used in this part of the country, it normally coincides with April 13, although once every thirty-six years it falls on April 14.

Aside from being the first day of the year, Vaisakh is also the anniversary of several important historical events. It is the day on which Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last of the gurus whose teachings are central to Sikhism, founded the militant Khalsa brotherhood in 1699. And it was on this day in 1747 that the Sikhs decided to build a permanent fortress at Amritsar, which is why this city has become a focal point for their worship. On Vaisakh in 1919, the British lieutenant governor of Punjab tried to prevent the Sikhs from gathering there.

They assembled anyway and were fired on by the army, an act that resulted in the deaths of 337 men, forty-one boys, and a baby. Because of the days historical and religious significance, all Sikhs are required to visit the largest and most important gurdwara (public place of worship) they can get to. If possible, they should visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where a continuous reading of the Granth Sahib and certain other rituals are held. After the religious ceremonies are over, there is feasting and folk dancing. Thousands of Sikhs visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar every year and bathe in the Pool of Immortality.