Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is one of the most important festivals of Sikh community. The latter celebrates birthdays of all of their ten gurus as Gurpurab. The day marks the birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, who laid the foundation of Sikhism. He was the first Sikh guru and was born in 1469 in Talwandi, a village near Lahore. He travelled extensively to spread the message of peace and love. Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on the purnima of Kartik month. This year, it will be celebrated on November 23.
The celebration of the festival begins two days prior to the day. Devotees read the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, in the Gurudwaras which is called Akhand Path. A day before the festival, Sikhs hold processions at several places with a palanquin of the Granth and the flag.
On the day, people visit religious places to offer prayers. Devotees read path from Guru Granth Sahib at about 4 AM at Amrit Vela and organise many other events. Dressed in traditional attires, people pray with pure hearts.
Young devotees perform Gathka, a traditional martial art form. Golden temple in Amritsar is decorated with lights and flowers. Volunteers organise Langar, a community kitchen hallmark of Sikh faith at Gurudwaras.
The day is celebrated to remember the holy Guru. Devotees tell people to follow Guru Nanak’s teachings. The celebrations end with singing Gurbani at about 2 am.
Guru Dev’s teachings are registered in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib in the form of 974 hymns. He married at the age of 19 and had two sons. He drifted towards the spiritual world at the age of 30 and visited various holy places to gain knowledge.
Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti 2018!