Joined: 21 October 2005
The birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, usually comes in the month of November, but the date varies from year to year according to the lunar Indian calendar. The birthday celebrations last three days. Generally two days before the birthday, Akhand Path is performed in the Gurdwaras. One day before the birthday, a procession is organised which is led by the Panj Piar and the Palki (Palanquin) of Guru Granth Sahib and followed by teams of singers singing hymns, brass bands playing different tunes, 'Gatka' (martial art) teams show their swordsmanship, and processionists singing the chorus. The procession passes through the main roads and streets of the town which are covered with buntings and decorated gates and the leaders inform the people of the message of Guru Nanak. On the anniversary day, the programme begins early in the morning at about 4 or 5 am with the singing of Asa-di-Var (morning hymns) and hymns from the Sikh scriptures followed by Katha (exposition of the scripture) and lectures and recitation of poems in praise of the Guru. The celebrations go on till about 2 pm.
After Ardas and distribution of Karah Parsad, the Langar is served. Some Gurdwaras also hold night prayer sessions. This begins around sunset when Rehras (evening prayer) is recited. This is followed by Kirtan till late in the night. Sometimes a Kavi-darbar (poetic symposium) is also held to enable the poets to pay their tributes to the Guru in their own verses. At about 1:20 am, the actual time of the birth, the congregation starts singing Gurbani. The function ends about 2 am.
The Sikhs who cannot join the celebrations for some reason, or in places where there are no Gurdwaras, hold the ceremony in their own homes by performing Kirtan, Path, Ardas, Karah Parsad and Langar.
Guru Nanak Dev ji founded & formalised the three pillars of Sikhism:1. Naam Guru ji led the Sikhs directly to practise Simran and Naam Japna – meditation on God through reciting, chanting, singing and constant remembrance followed by deep study & comprehension of God's Name and virtues. In real life to practice and tread on the path of Dharam (righteousness) - The inner thought of the Sikh thus stays constantly immersed in praises and appreciation of the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru.
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