Baisakhi is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in the northern belt of India, mostly in Punjab. The first day of Baisakh, marks the entry of Sun into Aries the first sign of the Zodiac, thus ushering in the New Year.
This is celebrated on 13th April 2016 not only in India but by all Punjabis spread in different parts of the world.
Apart from the religious significance of the festival, the festival also marks the beginning of the harvest season. This is the day when the year long fruits of labor are realized when the first crops of the season are harvested. Because of the huge dependency on agriculture which is the major livelihood provider in this part of the world, this festival holds special importance to its people.
The festival also holds a historical significance for the Sikh community. On this special Baisakhi day of 1699, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Govind Singh declared an end to the tradition of Gurus and upheld the Guru Granth Sahib a sacred guide the Holy Book of the Sikhs. In the truest sense, the existence of Sikhism can be traced back to this day with the formation of Khalsa (the pure one).
Being a holy day, the day starts with a dip in the holy rivers at the break of dawn. Bhangra and Giddha, popular dance forms in Punjab, form an intrinsic part of the celebration and are performed by men and women in their traditional attires. It’s a day celebrated in grandeur associated with pomp and show. In devotion to the Saints and Pirs of yester years, there are also several fairs that are organized throughout the villages.
The major places of celebration include the Talwandi Sabo, the Golden temple at Amritsar and the Gurudwara at Anandpur Sahib. The festival is also celebrated in a big way in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom by the local Sikh community.