Happy Vaisakhi everyone!

It is Vaisakhi today, an event with several meanings to different cultures and religions.

Happy Vaisakhi

Happy Vaisakhi

It is celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists as part of welcoming the new solar year in.

But it is extremely important to the Punjabi community and the Sikh religion.  The time of Vaisakhi, or Baisakhi, as some say it, is a traditional harvest festival, and as the Punjab is a large farming area, it is a cause for celebration, when the crops are harvested, people dance, and have fun, they do Bhangra, sing and dance, and generally celebrate the freedom they will now have, after a successful (hopefully) harvest. But before all this fun and laughter, they use this time to pray, and thank God for the good harvest, and to pray for the future crops too.

As a Sikh it holds a great importance too.  Way back in 1699, our 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji laid the foundations of the Panth Khalsa, or the Order of the Pure ones, and so it is the birth of the Khalsa, and Sikhism as we know it now.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Khalsa Panth

Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Khalsa Panth

On this day many people who may not be baptised into full Sikhism, choose to do this, known as Amrit Shakna.  This is basically that you are drinking the holy nectar, Amrit, and you pledge to be a true Sikh, as above, remembering the 5 Kakar’s (the 5 K’s).

Kesh – Uncut Hair, you remain as God intended you to be, be thankful for what God gave you, do not be ashamed.

Kangha – A wooden comb worn in the hair, to keep you tidy, and presentable at all times, a symbol of cleanliness.

Kara – A steel bangle acting as a constant reminder of a Sikh’s mission on this Earth, to do good, and help others. It is an external symbol of our faith. Being a continuous circle, it shows a Sikh’s unbreakable attachment to God. It was also used in self defence, and originally was part of a type of coat of arms, to protect the arms in battles.

Kirpan – A ceremonial dagger carried by baptised Sikhs, that is there to defend oneself, but more over to protect others regardless of race, colour or creed.

Kashera – a loose shorts like undergarment. Used to retain ones modesty, and cover your intimate parts, so as to always be proper, and also, as it is worn by both man and woman, it is a way to discourage looking at the opposite sex in an immoral way. It is tied with a naala, a drawstring, and the meaning for that is that if you were to be removing it to do anything improper, then untying the knot would give you time to think about what actions you are about to make…

We celebrated today by going to the Gurdwara to pay our respects.

Then on the weekend, there will be a large parade, the Nagar Kirtan, which slowly snakes around our town, and all the local community, Sikh or not, get involved! We place our holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, in a specially made trailer, resembling the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and then there are people walking ahead, cleaning the road in advance. The Panj Pyare, or Five Loved/Blessed Ones, Walk ahead of this carriage.

Panj Pyare

Panj Pyare

This procession is attended by thousands, who come from far and wide to walk alongside, and behind the Guru Granth Sahib.

Ariel Image

Ariel Image

We walk behind, chanting holy songs, and walk through the town, and around the route there are people giving food and drink, to all. This is part of our Seva, or helping others that we are encouraged to do. Many people, in the lead up to Vaisakhi will visit the temple and donate items such as juice and sweets, which are distributed along the journey. Also, local businesses will arrange for hot food and drink along the route, for free, as their ‘seva’ for Vaisakhi.

Some of the many people who attend

Some of the many people who attend

Behind the main hoards of worshippers there are usually trailers for those that can’t walk the couple of miles that we travel, and also local sports teams or cultural clubs have their participants on board open sided lorries.  That’s where I’ll be, as I have been the last 4 years. Previously they were on a trailer together as they play the Dhol, (Punjabi Drum) with a local Bhangra team, but this year Lil Man is on a trailer with his football team, and Lil Princess will be sat with her Punjabi School classmates. I hope to get a seat somewhere as my feet may not cope with the long walk this year!

And we have Bhangra dancers, performing along the route at various stations.

Bhangra Dancers

Bhangra Dancers

It is a beautiful event, and there are Nagar Kirtans around the UK in places where there is a large Sikh community.  Hopefully, I’ll get some pictures on Saturday, which I can post for you!

But for now,

HAPPY VAISAKHI TO ONE AND ALL!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

(Wonderful Lord’s Khalsa, Victory is to the Wonderful Lord)

78 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Nagar Kirtan Parade This Year #Vaisakhi #NagarKirtan | But I Smile Anyway...
  2. Leanne
    Apr 14, 2017 @ 02:11:30

    Wow! Very cool! And so many people! I only practice 1 of the 5 K’s in a different way; I carry a pen instead of a dagger to protect myself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. desertcurmudgeon
    Apr 13, 2017 @ 16:29:49

    Beautiful. A blessed Vaisakhi to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. gcmediain
    Apr 13, 2017 @ 11:57:14

    Happy Baisakhi & thanks for the very descriptive info , we at GC Media had started our own blog about digital marketing so could you please have a look at it & give us some feedback that would be great. Thanks
    https://gcmediain.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/how-a-ppc-pay-per-click-campaign-works/

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. ellenbest24
    Apr 13, 2017 @ 10:51:38

    A lovely post and educational. Thank you and Have a smashing time

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Charlene Bullard - FaithtoRaiseNate.com
    Apr 13, 2017 @ 10:42:20

    Thank you for sharing, I learned something new.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Sangbad
    Apr 13, 2017 @ 10:37:34

    Happy Vaisakhi…learned a lot…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. neelwritesblog
    Apr 15, 2016 @ 03:43:33

    Happy Baisakhi, sis.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. elementhealing
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 22:43:29

    Thank you Ritu for this post. It’s so interesting I would love to know more about your faith. I look forward more pictures if you can get them.

    Like

    Reply

  10. niasunset
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 14:17:53

    This is so nice. Blessing and Happiness dear Ritu, Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Bee Halton
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 12:31:48

    Thanks for that great lesson about Sikh’s 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. mopana
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 08:02:33

    What a beautiful guideline through an amazing tradition, Ritu. Thanks for sharing and…
    Happy Vaisakhi!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. Ompong
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 04:00:38

    Hindu holidays are nice to see… they are usually colorful with a high degree of festive mood. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 03:13:34

    Happy Vaisakhi to you and your family! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. syl65
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 01:11:16

    Happy Vaisakhi Sister!!! Peace and Love!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Erika Kind
    Apr 13, 2016 @ 21:13:06

    Happy Vaisakhi, Sis! What an amazing celebration. In some way, it sounds familiar to me! Did you post about it once before?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Judy Martin
    Apr 13, 2016 @ 20:50:47

    I hope you have a wonderful day and look forward to seeing your pics on Saturday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. unstilledheart
    Apr 13, 2016 @ 20:34:08

    Reblogged this on unstilledheart.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. georgeforfun #MATURE, YOU'VEBEEN WARNED Life's too short to be miserable or serious anymore!
    Apr 13, 2016 @ 20:30:19

    Thanks to you and followers for all the info. I’m up for any reason for people to gather and celebrate, YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
    Enjoy your day&evening. )))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Hugssssssssssssssss

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. susieshy45
    Apr 19, 2015 @ 09:11:19

    In Kerala, a similar festival is celebrated called Vishu- which again celebrates the new harvest. It symbolises the beginning of the new year too. And similarly in West Bengal, it is celebrated as Nobo Borosho or new year. So there is a lot of similarity between states and cultures. Perhaps the Parsi Navroze has similar origins- the
    beginning of spring after a long winter. Who knew ?
    Wishing you a happy Baisakhi and a new year with a lot of fun and frolic.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. susieshy45
    Apr 19, 2015 @ 09:10:15

    In Kerala, a similar festival is celebrated called Vishu- which again celebrates the new harvest. It symbolises the beginning of the new year too. And similarly in West Bengal, it is celebrated as Nobo Borosho or new year. So there is a lot of similarity between states and cultures. Perhaps the Parsi Navroze has similar origins- the beginning of spring after a long winter. Who knew ?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. Trackback: Excuse me if I don’t reply straight away today…! | But I Smile Anyway...
  23. Leanne
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 23:25:23

    Another wonderful post to educate your followers! Also enjoyed the great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  24. Thumbup
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 17:31:45

    Is there

    giving on this holiday?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Apr 14, 2015 @ 18:37:45

      It’s not usually about giving, but celebrating a good harvest, and the birth of the Khalsa… though you are to think about giving more, yourself, in general, about your Seva, and charitable work you could do, time, and money you could donate to help others.. that is one main ethos of Sikhism!

      Like

      Reply

  25. walkerkaty0
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 16:09:39

    This is the first time I am hearing about this celebration. It looks like a lot of fun! Happy Vaisakhi!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. Cats at the Bar.org / Back Home in Bromont.com
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 13:08:52

    That looks like so much fun. What a wonderful way to celebrate. It really brings the community together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Apr 14, 2015 @ 13:15:32

      It is great, and everyone, no matter what religion, colour or creed joins in!! It might just be for the free food, but hey, it’s all fun!! And so colourful! 😄

      Like

      Reply

  27. Cats at the Bar.org / Back Home in Bromont.com
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 13:01:59

    Ignore my last question on your other post. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  28. carolschepper
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 11:55:48

    Happy Vaisakhi to you & your family. Enjoy the festivities!
    And thank you for the explanation!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  29. edwinasepisodes
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 10:12:32

    Happy Vaisakhi to you Ritu and thanks for the insight about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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