Happy Baisakhi! Come Scroll Through Some Trivia About How This Festival Is Celebrated In Delhi
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The cultural diversity and religious pluralism that India stands for is echoed by its capital city, Delhi, which has proved to be the hub of the country’s religious frenzy. With a large group of Sikhs constituting the city’s population, Baisakhi is celebrated with considerable pomp and show.
Also known as the Harvest Festival, Baisakhi marks the beginning of the harvest season, and harvesting of corn forms part of the celebrations. Baisakhi is not just about feasting and revelry, but it also holds significance for the Sikhs as it marks the commencement of the Sikh New Year.
The History Behind This Day
Celebrated annually on April 13, it was on this day that Guru Gobind Singh - the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs, founded the Akal Khalsa (Community of the Pure), which played a pivotal role in resisting Mughal rule in India. On March 30, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh baptized five men and proclaimed them as his embodiment, with the aim of preserving the Sikh religion. This laid the foundation of Khalsa, or the Sikh brotherhood, which was identified with five distinct symbols of purity, namely - unshorn hair, the wooden comb, the iron (or steel) bracelet, the sword (Kirpan), and special underwear.
The establishment of Khalsa was not only aimed at resisting political domination, but it also accentuated the essence of Sikhism at a time of political and religious anarchy. It disregarded the caste system that was prevalent in India by bringing together people who belonged to different stratas of society as one undivided, cohesive community.
A Buzzing Time
Picture Credits: Indian Holiday
With a large Sikh community, Delhi presents a vibrant picture at the time of Baisakhi. One cannot miss the city which is pulsating with energy, at this time of the year, and the Gurdwaras which are decorated with myriad coloured lights and flowers. The streets are thronged by people and devotees who visit the local Gurudwaras on this auspicious day. Baisakhi witnesses the spirit of Delhi coming alive through music and dance, sans which the celebrations are incomplete!
Happy Celebrations All Over Town
Picture Credits: Indian Holiday
During Baisakhi, the historical flower markets of Delhi, particularly the Fatehpuri Phool Mandi, come to life and are bustling with people. As a mark of respect to their Guru, Sikh devotees visit the shrines and make generous offerings of fruit and flowers. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, one of the most popular Gurdwaras in the city, is a delightful sight to behold on this day! Although crowded, these Gurdwaras bring out the true spirit of Sikhism through the rituals and devotional hymns that are sung the entire day and night.
There’s never a better time to sample Delhi’s fabled hospitality as well as the traditional food. After the completion of the rituals, devotees, irrespective of their caste or religion, receive Kara Prasad (sweetened semolina). This is followed by Langar, which is a community lunch organized by the Gurudwara authorities, cooked and consumed by the Sangat (audience).
Baisakhi in Delhi, with its rituals, song and dance, spreads a festive aura that is definitely not to be missed - come join in!