The festival of Gurunanak Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanak Gurpurab, is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by Sikhs all around the world. It marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru and the founder of Sikhism. The festival is observed on the full moon day in the month of Kartik, which falls in October or November according to the Gregorian calendar. This year, Gurunanak Jayanti will be celebrated on November 27.
But why do we celebrate Gurunanak Jayanti?
As a philosopher, a leader, and a spiritual teacher, Guru Nanak Dev is well-known. He displayed a strong interest in spirituality at an early age and devoted most of his time to meditation and life’s mysteries. He disapproved of all types of inequity and discrimination and held to the idea that there is only one God.
Sikhism is a religion based on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, emphasizing equality, compassion, and selfless devotion to others. He used his words and his example to inspire others to share his message. He stressed the value of living a straightforward life, acting honourably and morally, and treating everyone equally.
The celebration of Gurunanak Jayanti is a way to honour the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev. It is a day to remember his message of love, unity, and selfless service.
How dow e celebrate Gurunanak Jayanti?
On the special day, Sikhs visit gurudwaras before dawn and offer prayers. The gurudwaras are decorated with lights and flowers, and a special program is organised to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
One of the main highlights of Gurunanak Jayanti is the procession known as Nagar Kirtan. People from all walks of life participate in this procession, which is led by five Sikhs representing the Panj Pyare (Five beloved ones) who were the first initiates into the Khalsa (Sikh brotherhood). The procession is accompanied by devotional songs, prayers, and hymns and it moves through the streets, spreading the message of love and peace.
Another important aspect of Gurunanak Jayanti is the langar (community meal) organised at Gurudwaras. It is served to everyone, including the poor and needy, as a reminder of the importance of selfless service and compassion.
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