Festival - Guru Nanak Jayanti: Must See India
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Guru Nanak Jayanti

(Guru Nanak Jayanti is also known as Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib)
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The Sikh community has a strong and popular tradition and represents strong cultural ethics throughout India and the western world where it has a sizable presence. Their main focus for worship, the revered Guru Nanak Devji is by far the outstanding achievement in saintliness from the modern medieval period. The day is celebrated as his birthday and is one the most sacred festival of the Sikhs.

Till date he commands a dedicated and growing devotion that takes peak form in the national celebration of an occasion like that of the Guru Nanak Jayanti also known commonly as Guru Purab or Jyototsava in northern India. It is usually celebrated with great rejoicing and extravagant fervor on Purnima during the Hindi lunar month of Kartika; this generally falls during the month of November.

Traditions


As has been a customary practice for centuries now, the original birthplace of Gru Nanak Sahab, i.e. Nankana Sahib in present day Pakistan, devotees throng in millions each year to pay their homage and respects in their idol’s favour. In order to create a religious ambience, there is a loud and chorus recitation of the holy scripture along with the symbolic lightning of lamps as a part of celebrations. The morning of the Gurupurab day begins with the recitation of “Asa-di-Var” followed by “Katha”.

The devotees also express their joy by organising free meals that are more famously known as the ‘Langars’. The entire town is engulfed in the sentiments that have become an annual attraction to followers from across the globe and is characterized by free distributions of meals and sweets as ‘Pershad’.

Tourist Essential


A gamut of long and slow processions are also organized during Guru Nanak Jayanti to involve the entire townfolk. A major facet is seen in the participation of crowds that comprise a majority of Muslim participation. Tourists can enjoy the display of swordmanship of the Gatka team, different tunes played by the brass brands and team of singers singing hymns.

The colorful clothes worn by the dancers add to the delight of the tourist. Tourists have been as welcome as any other Sikh in all parts of Amritsar and elsewhere during the celebrations. It is encouraged that once you are inside a Sikh Shrine, you should cover your head with a piece of cloth--that is the norm-- and also indulge in some community service at the kitchens of the Sikh temples.

Guru Nanak Sahab has had torch bearing effects on a special group of people who take pride in retaining their beliefs as it was originally and still changing with modernity. It is indeed interesting to see how the future generations keep this spirit glowing in the name of Guru Nanak Jayanti that comes from a blind faith that gives them moral strength and a nationalistic feeling of integral unity.

Photos

by Kapil
by Kapil
 

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