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Home > Learning Point > Indian Cultural And Festivals > Indian Festivals > Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurupurab)

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Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurupurab)

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Introduction

The Birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, is traditionally celebrated on Kartik Puranmashi, or the full moon day of the month of Kartik.

Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is the most important and sacred festival of the Sikh community and is observed by them across the world. It is also known as the also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav, that also connotes to the Sikh guru’s birth anniversary. The festival is celebrated every year on a full moon day in the month of Kartik, according to the Hindu lunar calendar – Kartik Purnima, falling mostly during October-November.

 

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Importance of Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurupurab)

Guru Nanak was the founder and establisher of Sikhism. He was also the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus and was born in 1469. Guru Nanak since childhood was attracted towards spirituality, religion, purity, humanity, devotion and goodness. He soon realised his calling and deserted his family. Guru Nanak decided to become an ascetic and was greatly influenced by Hindu and Muslim religions. He was the one who started preaching the masses: ‘There is no Hindu or Mussulman religion’.

It is said that while Guru Nanak was having a bath in the river Baain, he disappeared and reappeared after three days. It is said that he was in direct communication with the Almighty. Nanak was the one who always sat with holy books and was the great saint who preached humanity amongst human beings. His main aim was to preach to the innocent people about pride, honour, respect and humanity.

 

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How to celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurupurab)

On this day, mostly Gurudwaras are well decorated and people chant hymns from Sikh scriptures. The day starts with Prabhat Pheris, which are early morning processions that begin from from Gurudwaras. Before the actual Guru Nanak Jayanti, there is a procession known as the ‘Nagarkirtan’ and further led by Panj Pyaras. The ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is read for 48 hours.

People carry Sikh flags and organise a Palki of Guru Granth Sahib, singing devotional songs. An amazing display of swordsmanship and martial arts takes place which is a beautiful and unique sight to watch.

Once the procession is over, the ‘Langar’ is served – a special lunch organised by the community at the Gurudwaras. People massively take part in offering food and also doing Seva of God. After Langar there is a prayer session around sunset. It is said that Guru Nanak was born at 1:20 am and hence the followers gather and celebrate post midnight.

On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Karah Parasaad is prepared and served amongst everyone once the Puja is over. Karah Parasaad is a sweet dish which has the utmost blessings of the great saint. This food item is especially for all those who have a sweet tooth. Further, Langar is served with respect and love.

 

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