Guru Nanak Jayanti 2018- Importance Of Sikh Festival Gurpurab
By: Pinki Fri, 23 Nov 2018 10:55 AM
Guru Nanak Jayanti Sikh festival falls in the month of Kartik (October/November). Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak's Birthday and the other Gurpurbs with an Akhand Path, a reading of the Sikh holy scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib, continuously from beginning to end. This is done by a team of Sikh men and women, each reading for 2-3 hours over 48 hours, beginning two days before and ending early on the morning of the birthday. On the penultimate day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, a procession takes place in the morning, which is more commonly known as the 'Prabhat pheri'. Five armed guards, who represent the Panj Pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands playing religious music form a special part of the procession.
Sikhs also visit gurdwaras where special programs are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) are sung. Houses and gurdwaras are lit up to add to the festivities. Guru Nanak Dev's life served as a beacon light for his age. He was a great seer, saint and mystic. He was a prolific poet and a unique singer of God's laudation. A prophet of peace, love, truth and renaissance, he was centuries ahead of his times. His universal message is as fresh and true even today as it was in the past and Sikhs all over the world, practice what Guru Nanak Dev preached, to reaffirm their beliefs in the teachings of their founder.
Sometimes the festival extends into the evening, with prayers and hymns continuing long into the night. Sikhs who are unable to visit the Gurdwara during the festival will hold a similar ceremony in their own homes.
Various lectures and poems are recited in the praise of Guru. Langar (special lunch) is served to people. The celebrations of Guru Nanak birthday are especially grand in the twin states of Punjab and Haryana.
Karah Parasaad is served after puja. This is a sweet-tasting food which has been blessed. It is made from semolina or wheat flour, sugar and ghee (clarified butter) and is served warm. The congregation will then share a langar (meal) from the free kitchen. Celebrations may also include fireworks.