Vaisakhi festival, mainly called as Baisakhi festival, Vaishakhi, or Vaisakhi refers to the harvest festival of the Punjab region, the Punjabi New Year falling on the first day of Vaisakh that is the first month of the Punjabi calendar, Khalsa Sirjana Divas that marks the birth of the Khalsa in the year 1699 and also the Mesha Sankranti festival. Apart from being important for the farmers as a harvest festival, the Baisakhi festival is of prime importance in Sikhism as a foundation day of Khalsa Panth. This Baisakhi festival is celebrated on either thirteen or fourteen April.
Astrological Significance of Baisakhi Festival
The Baisakhi festival falls on April 13 each year and April 14 once in every thirty-six years. Change in date is due to the reason that date of Baisakhi festival is reckoned in line with the solar calendar. Astrologically, the date of Baisakhi festival is important as marks sun’s entry into Mesh Rashi. For this significant reason, many folks also recognize Baisakhi as Mesha Sankranti. The auspicious date of Baisakhi festival is celebrated everywhere in India under totally different names and rituals. This is also celebrated as ‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam, ‘Naba Barsha’ in Bengal, ‘Puthandu’ in Tamil Nadu, ‘Pooram Vishu’ in Kerala and ‘Vaishakha’ in the state of Bihar.
Significance of Baisakhi Festival for Farmers
For the agriculturally wealthy state of Punjab and Haryana, Baisakhi festival marks the time for harvest of Rabi (winter) crops and is thus very vital for the farmers. Baisakhi festival is also celebrated as a thanksgiving day festival in these states. After waking up early and dressing themselves in new clothes, farmers visit temples and gurdwaras manifest thanks to God for the good harvest and obtain blessing for coming agriculture season. Farmers further celebrate Baisakhi festival by performing energetic bhangra and gidda dance and taking part in Baisakhi Fairs.
Significance of Baisakhi Festival in Sikhism
Baisakhi Festival is of major importance for the folks following Sikh religion. As it was on a Baisakhi Day, in the year 1699 that the Tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh established Khalsa Panth or the Order of Pure Ones and gave rare identity to Sikhs. On a similar day the guru administered amrit (nectar) to his 1st batch of 5 disciples making them Singhs, a martial community. By doing therefore, he eliminated the variations of high and low and established that all human beings were equal.
Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi festival by taking part in special prayer meetings organized at gurdwaras. They additionally perform joyful Baisakhi festival processions to mark the day.
Significance of Baisakhi Festival in Other Religions
The day of Baisakhi festival is of significance for the Hindus because it was on this day in 1875 that Swami Dayanand Saraswati established the Arya Samaj – a reformed sect of Hindus who are dedicated to the Vedas for religious guidance and have discarded idolatry. Besides, Baisakhi day is of relevance for the Buddhists as Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment and Nirvana on this auspicious day.