It is said that the festival of vaisakhi has a lot of importance for Sikhs, as the tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa on the day of Baisakhi in 1699. Vaisakhi rituals and customs are performed in keeping with the trend that has its roots several hundred years back. The main venue of these ceremonies is the Gurudwara. Many people visit Anandpur Sahib or the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Vaisakhi to offer prayers.
The Guru Granth Sahib or the Holy Scripture is taken out and bathed with milk and water. The holy book is again placed on the throne with utmost care and reverence. Verses and teachings of the Holy book are read out In keeping up with the tradition of the original procession that was held way back in 1699, even today, the procession is enacted.
- Five priests or Panch Pyaras or beloved Five of Guru Govind Singh recite verses. Just as Amrit was prepared in 1699 and distributed by Guru Govind Singh Ji from an iron vessel, even today, this ritual forms an important part of the Vaisakhi rituals and customs.
- The rituals are accompanied with kirtans or singing holy songs. Once these customs are followed, Karah Prasad is served.
- An ideal sight that speaks volume about the feeling of brotherhood is when people align in a single row and enjoy their community lunch, also referred to as Guru Ka Langar.
- An important aspect you need to remember while having the food is you will be required to cover your head with cloth while eating. Strictly vegetarian food is served at the langar.
Processions on Vaisakhi
- The Gurus and elders of the Gurudwara take out Guru Granth Sahib for a procession later during Baisakhi day. The parade is led by the Five Priests. Children, men, and women take part in the procession.
- Also participating in the procession are drummers and dancers. Oftentimes you will hear chants like “Deg teg fateh”, “Bole so nihal”, “Wahe guru”, and “Sat nam” filling the air as the procession moves forward.
Vaisakhi rituals and customs for agricultural harvest
- If you visit Punjab, you cannot avoid the excitement and merry making moments of the farmers as they enjoy the harvest season. You will be compelled to take part in the celebrations; such is the vigor of the many activities that take place on this day.
- Men and women wearing colorful jazzy dresses perform bhangra, a traditional dance form of Punjab. Dhol is the main instrument that is played during the dance.
- This is followed by visiting friends and relatives, eating special food, in some cases exchanging gifts, and anything that brings a lot of happiness and excitement. Of course, before all these celebrations begin, everyone pays a visit to the Gurudwara to offer their prayers.