Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak (the first of the ten Sikh Gurus). According to the Hindu calendar, the birth date of Guru Nanak Ji changes every year as it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kartik month. This year Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on 30th November 2020 (Monday). As per the Gregorian calendar, Guru Nanak was born on 15th April 1469 and his birthplace is in Pakistan currently. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and is worshipped by the entire Sikh community.
WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL METHOD OF CELEBRATING GURU NANAK JAYANTI?
Every year, Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated at the Golden Temple Amritsar with great joy and happiness. The celebrations begin three days before the main event with the continuous recitation (Akhand Path) of the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) at the Golden Temple. This Akhand Path is finished on the main day. After that, the Guru Granth Sahib is decorated with flowers and is taken out early in the morning on a march known as Prabhat Pheri. The Prabhat Pheri begins from the Gurudwara Sahib and proceeds to the various locations. The procession is headed by the Five Beloved Ones or the Panj Pyaras where each one of them carries the Sikh flag in hand. The people living in the nearby areas also join the Panj Pyaras for the procession.
On this day all the streets are beautifully decorated with flowers and flags. The band is also available on this day to perform martial arts and showcase their swords skills using traditional Sikh weapons. People sing different types of hymns. Post the celebration, sweets and lunch which is called Langar is offered to the people visiting Gurudwara. The food offered to the people is prepared in the Gurudwara’s kitchen itself. On this auspicious day, various people from the Sikh community take part in the “Karseva” (offering free service for religious cause) service which includes cooking and serving food. The celebration doesn’t end with this, in some gurudwaras celebrations are even held during the night. The Sikh people have a kirtan session at night where they sing Gurbani which refers to the composition by the Sikh gurus and this session continues till late night.
HOW TO CELEBRATE GURU NANAK JAYANTI DURING PANDEMIC?
Everybody is aware that this year due to the pandemic the Guru Nanak Jayanti can’t be celebrated in the old traditional way. But don’t be sad; here are some suggestions that you can follow to make your Guru Nanak Jayanti celebration as happy as every year.
• Spend time with your kids and narrate to them the story behind celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti.
• Get dressed in traditional attire and go to the Gurudwara with your family to offer the prayers (Ardaas).
• Sing poetries and hymns written on the Guru Granth Sahib with your family.
• Prepare special dishes including Karah Parshad and distribute the parshad among your neighbours and relatives.
• Decorate your house with lights, diyas and candles. Also, involve your kids in the decoration.