Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi, is mainly a Sikh festival that falls on the 13th or 14th of April each year. It is celebrated with great pomp and show in Punjab as well as other parts of the country. Baisakhi is basically a Sikh festival that marks the New Year for the Sikh community. It is also celebrated by people from the Hindu community. It is a way of honoring the Khalsa Panth of the warriors under Guru Gobind Singh. The Khalsa Panth was formed in the year 1699.
Long and Short Essay on Baisakhi
Essay - 1 (250 words)
Baisakhi, also referred to as Vaisakhi or Vaisakhi, is celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April every year. Like other Indian festivals, Baisakhi is also awaited all year long especially by the people belonging to the Sikh community as it is one of their main festivals. Not only does it mark the beginning of the New Year for them but it is also the time to celebrate the harvesting of crops.
Baisakhi – One of the Main Sikh Festivals
Baisakhi, originally a Hindu festival, was incorporated as a main Sikh festival by Guru Amar Das and is since celebrated with great enthusiasm by people belonging to the Sikh community around the world. Shri Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, laid the foundation of the Khalsa Panth in the year 1699. The Khalsa Panth was also formed on the same day and it gives the Sikh community all the more reason to celebrate this day.
The gurudwaras across India, especially in different regions of Punjab, are decked up beautifully on this day and see huge numbers of people visiting to offer prayers. Nagar kirtans are carried out from gurudwaras and people are seen dancing, singing and bursting crackers to make merry during these processions.
Many people organize to get together at home to celebrate the day with their relatives, friends, and colleagues.
Baisakhi Celebrations at the Golden Temple, Amritsar
While the Baisakhi fairs and processions are held at several places around the world, none can match the level of enthusiasm seen at the Golden Temple.
The Golden Temple, also known as Shri Harmandir Sahib is considered to be the holiest place for the Sikh community. Sikhs from different parts of the world visit the Golden Temple to attend the grand Baisakhi celebration held here.
The people from the Sikh community are known for their joyous nature and they can be seen in their merriest state at the festival of Baisakhi.
Essay - 2 (400 words)
Baisakhi observed on the 13th (or sometimes 14th) of April every year is one of the main festivals of Sikhs as well as Hindus though the reason for celebration varies to some extent for both these communities. Here is how this day is perceived and celebrated by people belonging to Hindu and Sikh religions.
Baisakhi Significance – For Hindu Community
The day of Baisakhi is said to be the first day of the traditional solar New Year. People from the Hindu community celebrate their New Year on this day by visiting temples, performing prayers, meeting and greeting their friends and relatives, having good food and dressing up in new clothes.
Harvest is complete and ready to be sold around this time and the farmers around the country celebrate the ripening season on this day. Baisakhi is known by different names in different parts of India however the way it is celebrated is almost the same. Here are the names this festival is known by in different Indian states:
- Rongali Bihu in Assam
- Maha Vishuva Sankranti in Odisha
- Pohela Boishakh or Naba Barsha in West Bengal and Tripura
- Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka
- Bisu among the Tulu People
- Bikhu or Bikhauti in Kumaon, Uttarakhand
- Puthandu in Tamil Nadu
- Vishu in Kerala
Some of these are celebrated on the same day as Baisakhi while others are celebrated a day or two after the same.
Baisakhi Significance – For Sikh Community
Contrary to the common notion, Baisakhi is actually a Hindu festival. It is the Sikh guru, Guru Amar Das who chose it for the Sikhs along with the other two festivals – Diwali and Makar Sankranti. Just as in Hinduism, Baisakhi marks the beginning of the New Year in Sikhism also and hence it is a day for celebration.
Apart from this, Baisakhi is also celebrated as a harvest festival in Punjab as the Rabi crop ripens around this time in the Punjab region. The farmers thank God for the harvest and also pray for abundance in the future.
This day is also special for the Sikhs as it marked the beginning of the Sikh order after the execution of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur who declined the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's order to convert to Islam. This was followed by the coronation of their tenth Guru and the formation of the Khalsa Panth.
Baisakhi is celebrated with great zeal across the country mainly in Punjab where people carry out processions, burst firecrackers, organize a feast for their near ones and enjoy the whole day.
Essay - 3 (500 words)
Baisakhi is one of the main festivals of the Sikh community. It marks the beginning of the New Year for them and is also celebrated to rejoice the ripening of the crops. Many people from the Hindu community across the country also celebrate the day for the same reason. However, the name of this festival varies from region to region. Just like every other Indian festival, Baisakhi also brings people together. A get-together is held, temples and gurudwaras are decorated with lights and flowers, people dress up in ethnic wear and enjoy good food.
Baisakhi Celebrations Around the World
Not just in India, Baisakhi is celebrated in other parts of the world too. Here is a look at where this festival is celebrated and how:
Pakistan encompasses quite a few historical sites of importance to the Sikh with one of them being the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev and these attract Sikh as well as Hindu pilgrims from far and wide every year on the day of Vaisakhi.
Until the 1970s, the festival was celebrated with zeal by the locals too. Baisakhi Mela was held in Lahore after the harvesting of the wheat crop. However, all this began fading after Zia-ul-Haq came to power during the 1970s. Recently, the Pakistan Muslim League even banned kite flying. However, Baisakhi Melas are still held in Eminabad and certain other places in Pakistan.
There are huge numbers of Sikhs residing in Canada and they celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with great zeal. This is one of the main festivals for them. Nagar Kirtans are held and large numbers of people take part in the same. Surrey, a city in the Province of British Columbia, Canada attracted more than 200,000 people for their Baisakhi celebration in the year 2014. The record was broken in the year 2016 with 350,000 people and further in 2017 with 400,000 people attending the Baisakhi festival held in the city.
Manhattan and Los Angeles are two such cities in the United States that celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with immense enthusiasm. The people belonging to the Sikh community in Manhattan offer free food on this day and also contribute in different tasks to improve the community. Kirtan is held in Los Angeles and processions are carried out to celebrate this festival.
The United Kingdom too has a large Sikh community. West Midlands and London are known to have the largest number of Sikhs in the UK. The Nagar Kirtan held in Southhall attracts a large number of people from different parts of the United Kingdom. It is held in coordination with Birmingham City Council. The Nagar Kirtan starts from the gurudwaras in the city and ends at the Baisakhi Mela organized at Handsworth Park. This year saw, Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor attending the Baisakhi parade that began and culminated at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall Gurudwara located on Havelock Road.
Baisakhi is celebrated by the people from the Sikh community living in different parts of the world. Indians are known for their warm behavior and the celebration of Baisakhi in different countries thus attracts the locals too who take part equally enthusiastically.
Essay - 4 (600 words)
Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi or Vaisakhi, is mainly a Sikh festival that is celebrated with immense zeal in the Indian state of Punjab. People from the Sikh and also many Hindu communities living in other parts of the country also celebrate the festival as it marks the beginning of the New Year for them. The festival mostly falls on the 13th of April each year.
The Significance of Baisakhi
Though known to be one of the main Sikh festivals, Baisakhi is basically a Hindu festival. It is said to be one of the three Hindu festivals that Guru Amar Das chose for Sikhs. The other two being Diwali and Maha Shivratri though as per some he chose Makar Sankranti instead of Maha Shivratri.
The day is considered auspicious and celebrated owing to several reasons. Here is a look at the reasons for making this day special:
- The day saw the beginning of the Sikh order post the persecution and execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur who refused to convert to Islam as ordered by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This led to the coronation of the tenth Sikh Guru and the formation of the Khalsa Panth. Both these events occurred on Baisakhi Day. The formation of the Khalsa Panth is celebrated each year on this day.
- Sikhs also celebrate it as a spring harvest festival.
- It is also the first day of the New Year for the people belonging to the Sikh community.
- This is an ancient Hindu festival that marked the Solar New Year. The Hindus also celebrate spring harvest on this day.
While there are so many reasons to celebrate this festival. It is celebrated in more or less the same manner in various parts of the country.
The Gurudwaras are decorated with lights and flowers all over on this day and kirtans are held to celebrate this auspicious day. Nagar kirtan processions are also held at several places across the country and large numbers of people take part in these. People sing holy songs, burst crackers and distribute sweets during these processions. So prayers are offered and people also enjoy and celebrate this festival by way of these huge processions.
Many people go to nearby rivers or lakes during the early morning on this day to take a holy dip before visiting the Gurudwaras. Visiting the Gurudwaras is a ritual on this day. People dress up in new clothes and go to their local Gurudwaras to offer prasad and prayers. Many also head to the Golden Temple located in Amritsar, Punjab which is considered to be the holiest Gurudwara in Sikhism.
Apart from this, community fairs are organized. People visit these fairs to relish good food and enjoy games and rides. Many people organize to get together at their homes to socialize with their neighbors and relatives.
Hindus also celebrate this festival by taking a dip in holy rivers such as Ganga, Kaveri and Jhelum and visiting temples. They organize to get together and enjoy festive foods with their near and dear ones as a part of the celebration. The festival is known by different names in Hinduism including Pohela Boishakh in Bengal, Bohag Bihu or Rangali Bihu in Assam and other North-Eastern states in India, Vishu in Kerela, and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. It marks the first day of the year for these communities.
The festival is celebrated for various reasons by different communities however what remains at the core of this festival is the idea to offer prayers, socialize and enjoy good food. There are immense joy and excitement among the people on this day.