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Guru Nanak Jayanthi
November 30, 2020
Guru Nanak Jayanthi is the most important and sacred festival in the Sikh community. Guru Nanak Jayanthi is the birthday of the first of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. It is also called as Guru Nanak Gurupurab, or Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav celebrated across the world by the Sikhs. Gurupurab is the sacred occasion of celebrating birthdays of Gurus.
Guru Nanak Jayanthi is celebrated annually on full moon day in the month of “Karthik” as per the Hindu Calendar, and it usually falls in October or November according to the Gregorian calendar.
The founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak was born in 1469, in a village called Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, popularly called as Nankana Sahib, near Lahore, Pakistan. Guru Nanak’s teachings are preserved in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib.
The festivities begin with Prabhat Pheris which are the early morning processions that start at the Gurudwaras and proceed around the localities chanting hymns. The festival also 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.
A day before Guru Nanak’s birthday a procession called Nagar Kirtan is organised, and five men lead it, hailed as the Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones), holding the Sikh triangular flag, Nishan Sahib. On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanthi, the Granth Sahib is decorated with flowers and carried on a palanquin in a procession. The procession finally leads to a Gurudwara, where the devotees get together for a community lunch, which is called Langar.
Guru Nanak, the first Guru of Sikhism, contributed a total of 974 hymns to the book called Guru Granth Sahib. It is worshipped as the supreme authority of Sikhism and is considered the final and perpetual guru of Sikhism.