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vaisakhi

Vaisakhi

With the first harvesting of the crops of the year. This occasion is a joyous one and calls for a huge celebration. Vaisakhi is also considered as one of the seasonal festivals of Punjab and since this festival is closely related to harvesting, this is also known as the harbinger of plenty and happiness. Here in, it is believed by some anthropologists that a dance uses to precede the Vaisakhi festivities in earlier days. And the world famous Bhangra is believed to have evolved from this ritual dancing. Performing the Sarv Grah puja on this day brings in happiness and prosperity in one's family.

Apart from being associated with the harvesting Vaisakhi is also the festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community. This community is known as the Khalsa. 14th of April is celebrated every year as Vaisakhi. On this day in the year 1699, Guru Govind Singh gathered Sikhs from all over India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. And at this gathering, the Guru called upon Sikhs from different parts of the country to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion. The Guru then lifted his sword and asked anyone who was prepared to give his life for his faith to come forward. A big silence followed this and no one came forward but the Guru did not step back and kept repeating his words. After many appealing one Sikh family finally came forward. And shortly after this the Guru reappeared alone with his sword covered in blood, and asked for a second volunteer. In this way, another Sikh stepped forward and again the Guru took him into the tent, and re-appeared alone with his sword covered with blood. This thing was repeated until five Sikhs had offered their heads for the Guru. And finally, the Guru emerged from the tent with all five men dressed piously in blue. Guru Gobind Singh called these five Sikhs the Panj Pyare, meaning the Five Beloved Ones. The Panj Pyare was the first members of the new Sikh community called the Khalsa

The Sikhs everywhere celebrate Vaisakhi as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa community. On this day there are Akhand paths recited followed by Kirtan and Ardas in every gurdwara. Langars are also distributed amongst the people and at bigger centres fairs and contest in sports are also held. Vaisakhi is also widely celebrated as a traditional harvest festival in many northern states of India, such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand. And in many places the day is marked by ritualistic bathing in sacred rivers like the Ganges

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