Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Baisakhi (A festival of Panjab/Sikhs)

Vaisakhi, to Sikhs marks the creation of the Khalsa and to others, the Punjabi and Nepali New Year and the beginning of the harvest season in Punjab, India and Nepal.

Vaisakhi falls in the Nanakshahi calendar (not in the Amantha- nor in the Purnimantha-calendar) on the first day of Vaisakh month and marks the sun entering Mesha Rasi (this occurrence is called Mesha Sankranti).

Vaisakhi is therefore determined by the solar calendar.

Baisakhi usually falls on April 13, and on April 14 once every thirty-six years, however it has now been agreed for Vaisakhi to always fall on the 14th of April.

It occurs at the same time as the “Hindu/Vedic New Year” commemorated in different parts India as follows: Rongali Bihu in Assam, Naba Barsha (literally meaning “New” = “Nava” “Year”=”Barsha”) in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, ‘Pooram Vishu’ in Kerala, and the Sinhala/Tamil new year festival in Sri Lanka.

Vaisakhi in Sikhism

Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs founded the Khalsa (Community of the Pure) at the Baisakhi gathering in 1699, at Keshgarh Sahib near Anandpur.

Guru Gobind Singh, had arranged for followers from all over India to meet him at the Basakhi Fair in Anandpur.

The guru asked for a man to step forward who was willing to die for his religoun.

They crowd thought he was crazy but one man came forward, entered the Gurus tent and after a thud noise was herd the Guru came out of the tent – his sword stained with blood.

One by one the guru chose four more men to come forward, and one by after another they entered and the Guru exited alone with his blood stained sword.

The crowd was nervous, and mysteriously there was no screaming at all.

When the five men came before the people, clothed in robes like the Guru wore, all alive and well!

The Guru put water in a bowl for sprinkling over the five in a simple initiation ceremony.

He said prayers as he stirred the water with a short steel sword; symbolising the need for strength.

The Guru’s wife, Mata Sundri, then came forward and placed some sugar crystals into the holy water or amrit as a reminder that strength must always be balanced by sweetness of temperament.

After completing his prayers, the Guru then sprinkled the amrit over the five.

He declared them to be the first members of a new community of equals, to be called the Khalsa, meaning “pure”.

These “saint soldiers” were to dedicate their lives to the service of others and the pursuit of justice for people of all faiths.

The Panj Pyare were asked to wear five distinctive symbols of their new identity, The Five Ks.

In a move to end social divisions the five dropped their surnames – traditionally associated with one’s caste – and took the common name Singh, meaning “lion“, a reminder of the need for courage.

At the same time, the Guru gave Sikh women the name or title Kaur, meaning “princess“, to emphasise dignity and complete equality.

The Guru then knelt before the five and asked them to initiate him.

Hence, the Khalsa became a community in which master and disciple were equal.

For Sikhs, this seasonal festival also has great importance as the founding of the Akal Khalsa (Soldiers of the Timeless One) at Anandpur Sahib.

The Akal Khalsa played an important role in resistance against Mughal rule.

For many centuries after that, the first male child of many Hindu families in Punjab was ordained as a Sikh in order for him to train and become a warrior and fight for the people.

Other male children used to take care of the family, parents and the land.


To mark the celebrations, devotees, irrespective of their religion, throng at gurdwaras – the Sikh place of worship.

The celebrations start early as devotees, with flowers and offerings in their hands, proceed towards the gurdwaras and temples before dawn.

Processions through towns are also common.

Vaisakhi is the day on which the Khalsa (The Pure Ones) was born and Sikhs were given a clear identity and a code of conduct to live by.

The event was led by the last living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who baptised the first Sikhs using sweet nectar called Amrit.

Around the world at Baisakhi time, Sikhs and Punjabis reflect on the values taught to them by their Gurus and celebrate the birth of the Khalsa.

On top of this usually on this day in India, there is a huge parade/celebration. In the United States, there is usually a parade a few days after Vaisakhi, the actually day.

In New York, Manhattan is a huge parade where many people come out to do seva, (religious work) such as giving out free food, and completing any other labor needed to be done

What is Vaisakhi

Sikhs around the world celebrate Vaisakhi every year.

As per the Sikh calendar, it is the first day of the month of Vaisakh, which falls around mid-April every year.

The Importance of Vaisakhi
You might have heard of Vaisakhi referred to as a harvest festival or things like that.

But it is much, much more! In Sikhi, Vaisakhi has a much deeper significance.

It is the day that the Khalsa was created.

In the year 1699, it was the birthdate of the Khalsa.

Vaisakhi has been celebrated in different ways by Sikhs for over a century, leading up to the year 1699.

The Sikh Gurus and Sikh congregations celebrated Vaisakhi by gathering together to engage in meditation and service.

Who is the Khalsa?
The 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, would celebrate Vaisakhi by inviting everybody from across the regions and far-off countries.

They would gather together in the city of Sri Anandpur Sahib, situated near the foot of the Himalayan mountains, in North-East India.

During this time, the emperor of India, named Aurangzeb, was excessively taxing people.

He was a tyrant and oppressed poor people by doing forceful conversions of faith and killing those who did not comply.

No distinctive and humanitarian force could stand up for the poor and the innocent during that time. 

To initiate this fight for justice, on Vaisakhi in the year 1699, the great Guru Gobind Singh Ji stood on a platform.

In front of a very large congregation, Guru Gobind Singh Ji demanded to the entire congregation, “Is there any child of a Sikh, who is willing to give their head?”

This was a test of faith, devotion, humility, love and sacrifice.

Five beloved Sikhs (Bhai Daya Singh Ji, Bhai Dharam Singh Ji, Bhai Himmat Singh Ji, Bhai Mohkam Singh Ji and Bhai Sahib Singh Ji) offered themselves one by one and passed the test of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

These five Sikhs are well-known today as the Five Beloved Ones or the Panj Piaare.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji blessed them with the Ambrosial Nectar (Amrit) and liberated them from the cycle of birth and death, whilst living in the world still and serving the world.

They represent the leadership of the collective and the pure army, known as the Khalsa (Collective of Initiated Sikhs), the army of the immaculate.

This event marked the visible sprouting of the teachings of all the Sikh Gurus.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in the year 1699, gave birth to the Khalsa.

The Mission of the Khalsa
The mission of Khalsa is to fight for food and freedom for everybody around the world, regardless of their faith, caste, gender, color, age, etc. Degh Tegh Fateh is the term that is used by the Khalsa to convey that food and freedom are the victories that the Khalsa strives for.

This is why we remember this day as the Khalsa Saajna Divas i.e. the day the Khalsa Panth was created.

It is born from submitting and surrendering our ego, through complete submission and genuine love.

As Sikhs today, we try to follow that same mission.

What is Khalsa Like?
The Khalsa is like a lighthouse.

When a ship is trying to reach the shore and it is dark, the ship doesn’t know where it is going and doesn’t have light for guidance.

The Gursikhs, the Khalsa in the world, are meant to be that lighthouse.

They are meant to shine and help.

In the same way, a Sikh’s Dastar (turban), attire and words all represent this.

Standing out in the face of darkness, we can all try to do this.

We want to become completely selfless through the way we speak and the way we interact with everyone.

As the Khalsa, we want to become completely selfless. 

Strive to become so humble that you don’t care about selfish things, such as caring about what you have and what other people think about you.

We want to think about the greater cause i.e. what is greater for all of humanity?

As the Khalsa, we want to make this world more righteous.

 Along with that, these virtues become alive when we instill ourselves in the remembrance of God and dive into the hymns of spirituality, written by the Sikh Gurus.

That is why you may hear a lot of devotional singing from the Sikhs around Vaisakhi time.

It is not just music. Just like a moth sacrifices itself for the love of light or a bumblebee is intoxicated in the love of the flower, a Sikh completely sacrifices themselves inside of this devotional singing of the hymns, which we call Gurbani (the Guru’s words).

The Khalsa is meant to get drenched in the love of these words and serve the world.

Celebrating Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi is a celebration of love. Celebrate that love, it is not just as superficial as eating,  dancing and then going home.

Vaisakhi is not a carnival. Rather, this is the birthday of those great martyrs in our history.

The men and women, old and young, who sacrificed their lives for others.

Let us have that love run through our veins as well! 

Today, I implore you, for this year’s Vaisakhi to: 

  • Instill that love for Vaheguru (the Wondrous Enlightener) inside of yourself to grow
  • Go beyond the shackles of your mind and your ignorance
  • Completely fall in love with God through whichever path you may follow

We believe there is only one Creator.

Do not think about yourself or chase after vices. Become selfless.

Sikhs strive to be warriors externally and achieve spirituality and enlightenment internally i.e. becoming Saint Soldiers.

For Sikhs, the importance of Vaisakhi is to be liberated from our vices and awaken the love for Guru Sahib Ji inside of us.

That is what the Khalsa is.

The True Khalsa
Reflecting on the importance of the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh Ji emphasizes that, “whoever becomes the Khalsa, I sacrifice myself for that person”.

ਆਤਮ ਰਸ ਜੇ ਜਾਨਹੀ ਸੋ ਹੈ ਖ਼ਾਲਸ ਦੇਵ

One who knows the true taste of God within them is the True Khalsa.

A true Khalsa is that person who dives deep down inside of themselves, recognizes the true form of God and sees the Creator inside of everyone.

That is the true message of Vaisakhi.

Let us celebrate this by allowing the flowers of our love for Vaheguru to blossom within this month!

History of Baisakhi

Baisakhi or Vaisakhi Festival is celebrated as the Sikh New Year and the founding of the Khalsa Panth. History of Baisakhi traces its origin from the Baisakhi Day celebrations of 1699 organized by the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh to form Khalsa – Brotherhood of Saint Soldiers to fight against tyranny and oppression.

Story of Baisakhi

The story of Baisakhi Festival began with the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru who was publicly beheaded by the Aurungzeb, the Mughal ruler.

Aurungzeb wanted to spread Islam in India and Guru Tegh Bahadur stood up for the rights of Hindus and Sikhs and the Mughals therefore saw him as a threat.

After the death of Guru Teg Bahadur, his son, Guru Gobind Singh became the next Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh wished to instill courage and strength to sacrifice among his fellow men.

To fulfil his dream, Guru Gobind Singh called on the historic Baisakhi Day congregation of Sikhs at Keshgarh Sahib near Anandpur on March 30, 1699.

When thousands of people assembled for Guru’s blessing, Guru Gobind Singh came out of the tent carrying an unsheathed sword.

He gave a powerful speech to infuse courage amongst fellowmen.

At the end of the speech he said that every great deed was preceded by equally great sacrifice and demanded that anyone prepared to give his life come forward.

On the Guru’s third call, a young man offered himself.

The Guru took the man inside a tent and reappeared alone with a bloodied sword.

Guru Gobind Singh asked for another volunteer.

This was repeated another four times until a total of five Sikhs had gone into the tent with the Guru.

Everyone present was worried and though that Guru Gobind Singh has killed five Sikhs.

At this point Guru presented all the five men before the people.

Every one present was surprised to see all five men alive and wearing turbans and saffron-coloured garments.

These five men were called Panj Piara or ‘Beloved Five’ by the Guru.

The Guru blessed them with a Pahul ceremony.

In an iron vessel, the Guru stirred with a sword called Khanda Sahib, the batasha that his wife, Mata Sundari Ji had put into water.

The congregation recited verses from scriptures as the Guru performed the sacred ceremony.

The water was now considered the sacred nectar of immortality called amrit.

It was first given to the five volunteers, then drunk by the guru and later distributed amongst the crowd.

With this ceremony, all those present, irrespective of caste or creed, became members of the Khalsa Pantha (the Order of the Pure Ones).

The Guru regarded the Panch Piaras as the first members of the Khalsa and the embodiment of the Guru himself.

With the constitution of the Panj Pyare the high and low castes were amalgamated into one as among the original Panj Pyare, there was one Khatri, shopkeeper; one Jat, farmer; one Chhimba, calico printer; one Ghumar, water-carrier; and one Nai, a barber.

The Guru gave the surname of Singh (Lion) to every Sikh and also took the name for himself.

From Guru Gobind Rai he became Guru Gobind Singh.

This was seen as a great step in national integration because society at that time was divided on the basis of religion, caste and social status.

Guru Gobind Singh also bestowed on Khalsa, the unique Sikh identity.

He directed Sikhs to wear five K’s: Kesh or long hair, Kangha or comb, Kripan or dagger, Kachha or shorts and a Kara or bracelet.

Guru Gobind Singh also discontinued the tradition of Gurus and asked all Sikhs to accept the Grantha Sahib as their eternal guide.

He urged them to come to him with their hair and beard unshorn to get baptized by the sword.

The Story of Vaisakhi

On the Vaisakhi day of 1699 (the first day of the month of ‘Vaisakh’ in the Sikh calendar), Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the tenth Guru, formalized the concept of Saint-Soldier by introducing the Amrit ceremony (the formal initiation ceremony).

He transformed the Sikhs into a family of soldier saints, known as the Khalsa Panth. 

The Guru requested the Sikhs to congregate at Anandpur on Vaisakhi. 

According to the Sikh tradition, he asked for a volunteer who was prepared to give his life for his faith to come into the tent.

One came forward, whom he took inside a tent.

The Guru returned to the crowd alone, with a bloody sword.

He asked for another volunteer and repeated the same process of returning from the tent without anyone and with a bloodied sword four more times.

 After the fifth volunteer went with him into the tent, there was confusion and unease among the crowds.

The Guru returned with all five volunteers, all safe.

He called them the Panj Pyare and the first Khalsa in the Sikh tradition.

Each of the initiates was instructed to keep the five

K’s: Kes (uncut hair),

Kangha (a small comb),

Karra (an iron bracelet),

Kachera (a white undergarment),

and Kirpan (a small curved sword of any size, shape or metal). 

The title of Khalsa refers to people whose life and spirit are solely the property of the One Universal Creator and not of any king, dictator, or even a messenger of the Creator.

The Sikh faith was founded on the idea that there is only one Universal Creator and that all people are therefore equal, regardless of their religion, gender, ethnicity, color, caste, or other attributes.

A collective name given to the first five Khalsa is Panj Pyare.

The Panj Pyare who were baptized by Guru Gobind Singh Ji were -Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh, and  Bhai Sahib Singh. 

All five of the men were then seen emerging with the Guru, each wearing an orange suit and bib.

These colors are symbols of Sikhism.

In a novel and distinctive ceremony known as pahul, which Sikhs now refer to as the baptism ceremony known as Amrit, he baptized the five.

Then the Guru asked those five baptized Sikhs to baptize him as well.

This is how he became known as Guru Chela both teacher and student.

Then he proclaimed that the Panj Pyare, also known as the Five Beloved Ones, would embody the Guru himself: “

Where there are Panj Pyare, there am I.

When the Five meet, they are the holiest of the holy.”

Thus with these principles, he established Panth Khalsa, the Order of the Pure Ones. 

How is the festival of VAISAKHI celebrated?

Vaisakhi celebrations begin at the gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs.

All gurdwaras are beautifully decorated where the religious services take place.

Many people enjoy parades and special processions through the streets called “Nagar kirtans”.

‘Nagar’ means town, and ‘kirtan’ means singing hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. 

The Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a place of honor throughout processions.

Celebrations traditionally also include the reading of scriptures out loud and chanting of hymns.

During the Baisakhi processions, children and youth demonstrate their skills in martial arts to the accompaniment of musical bands, making the event more colorful.

Food is also served for free, this is known as ‘Langar’ which is part of the Sikh culture. Langar serves as a powerful way to socialize and connect with others who join.

Yellow and orange are the traditional colors of Vaisakhi.

They reflect the spirit of rebirth and sacrifice of the Punj Pyare, but they are also a color of joy and festivities.

When Vaisakhi is celebrated in Punjab, the bright yellow wheat fields are ready for harvest.

The Punjabi farmers thank God, on the special occasion of Vaisakhi, for a plentiful harvest and pray for a good one in the coming year.

Many Sikhs choose the day of Vaisakhi to be baptized into Khalsa. 

A large celebration is held in Anandpur Sahib, the city where Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa order.

Vaisakhi, which celebrates the Sikh spirit, highlights the blending of the spiritual and temporal worlds and provides valuable ways to do so through a common set of beliefs and customs.

Countries beyond the Indian subcontinent with significant Sikh populations hold notable public celebrations by coming together with their local communities at gurdwaras to pray and meditate on principles advocated by Sikhism.

It is a day for Sikhs to renew and rekindle loyalty to the Guru and their faith.  


What is Vaisakhi and why is it celebrated?

History of Vaisakhi

Guru Gobind Singh wanted to instil the principles of courage and morality in his downtrodden followers.

He wanted to uplift their determination to combat the evil forces of injustice, tyranny, and oppression.

He had become Guru with the criteria of courage and strength to sacrifice.

Every year at the time of Baisakhi (springtime), thousands of devotees would come to Ananpur to pay their obeisance and seek the Guru’s blessings.

In 1699, Sikhs from all over Punjab in India gathered together to celebrate the local harvest festival of Vaisakhi.

The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, came out of a tent carrying a sword and said that every great deed was preceded by an equally great sacrifice.

He asked anyone who was prepared to give their life for their religion to step forward.

But this was a test, and the five brave people who stepped forward, willing to sacrifice their lives, were known as the Panj Piare or ‘Beloved Five’ from that day forward.

Today, as then, they lead the Khalsa alongside the Guru.

How is Vaisakhi usually celebrated?

On Vaisakhi, many Sikhs go to the temple (Gurdwara) to pray and religious services are held.

After prayer, Sikhs tend to wear colourful traditional Indian clothes and take part in parades through the streets.

There is singing, dancing and chanting of hymns. This procession is called the Nagar Kirtan.

In the evening, Sikhs tend to have a traditional Indian meal with family and friends.

What is Vaisakhi and Why is It Celebrated?

Vaisakhi, also well-known as Baisakhi, is Punjab’s harvest festival. Irrespective of caste, faith, community, and religion, it is celebrated by everyone in Punjab. Vaisakhi is a symbol of the start of the Sikh calendar year. 

Just like the other festivals, Vaisakhi involves a lot of colors, food, a whole boisterous society, and a lot of dance and music.

It is also observed in other states of India.

When Is Vaisakhi In India In 2023?

Vaisakhi will fall on Friday, 14th April’ 2023.

People in Punjab and Haryana celebrate the Vaisakhi festival with complete joy and enthusiasm.

People perform where traditional folk dances are performed.

Vaisakhi – The Harvest Festival

Be it in India or Vaisakhi celebration in USA or Canada or any other country where Punjabis live; the festival is celebrated everywhere.

Men, women and kids love to perform Bhangra and Gidda folk Punjabi dances.

In Sikh temples or gurudwaras, Kirtan is performed, where one can see huge Sikh gatherings.

On the Vaisakhi festival in the USA, people gather for Nagar Kirtan, where baptist Sikhs perform Gatka, Kirtan and serve langer. 

Apart from the events listed before, fairs are also held on this day.

Men, women or children display their martial arts abilities alongside musicians and drummers, while some wield swords.

These traditional rituals add a sense of excitement to the festival.

Traditional Dress Worn On Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi festival encourages the season of harvest and spring.

The festival comes when everything blooms.

You can see multicolored flowers around you.

Similarly, people can be seen in vibrant and energetic mode celebrating the celebrations on this occasion.

Apart from performing the customs and traditions of Vaisakhi, women love to wear traditional Punjabi suits and jewelry.

Men and boys tie turbans and wear vibrant colors of dresses such as Kurta Pajamas.

This attire’s rainbow beauty portrays the rich and effervescent essence of the Punjabi way of life.

What Do People Like to Eat at Vaisakhi Festival?

At Vaisakhi fairs, many food booths are set up to keep the people hydrated and energized throughout the celebration.

Some of the festivals also take place during the night.

Traditional Punjabi food is always available during the fair, including Kadhi Chawal, Channa Bature, Sarson ka saag, dried fruit kheer, and the famous lassi.

These gastronomic delights perfectly capture the Punjabis’ unwavering love of flavor and cuisine.

Why Do People Celebrate Baisakhi Festival?

In 1699, the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, founded Khalsa Panth.

It was founded after the execution of Guru Teg Bahadur Singh – the ninth Sikh Guru, for not accepting Aurangzeb’s (the then Mughal ruler) demand of conversion to Islam religion.

So, in Sikhism, people have celebrated Vaisakhi to observe the religious event of creating Khalsa Panth since 1699.

Baisakhi’s History and Significance

Well, this is one of the holy days when Guru Gobind Singh – the tenth guru of Sikhs, started the ceremony of making the Sikhs as baptists Sikhs by giving them Khandhe Bate da Amrit, also known as Pahul or also known as Amrit Shakana on 13 April 1699. 

Since that day, this day has been celebrated similarly in various Sikh religious places in India and worldwide.

That was the day when the five Ks of Sikhism came into existence, and the caste system got utterly abolished from the Sikh religion.

And Guru Gobind Singh urged every Sikh to embrace the Guru Granth Sahib as their everlasting guru.

So, there’s a vast significance of Vaisakhi in Sikhism.

The Vaisakhi story

Although now joyously celebrated as the Sikh religion’s foremost festival, Vaisakhi’s origins were actually borne out of violent conflict and turmoil during the Mughal reign of India.

Hindus and Sikhs resisted the Mughal Empire which had ruled for hundreds of years, and this resulted in the public beheading of the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, who was seen as a threat to the Empire.

It was then down to Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Teg Bahadur’s son (and therefore successor as the next Sikh Guru), to lead the charge against Mughal rule.

In a showing of unity, on 30th March 1699, the first ever Vaisakhi Day congregation took place, where Guru Gobind Singh blessed five volunteers known as Panj Piara (Beloved Five) and the Sikh identity was created.

The five volunteers emerged wearing turbans and orange garments, and Sikhs were asked to wear what are now known as the “Five Ks”:

Kesh – long, uncut hair
Kangha – wooden comb
Kirpan – dagger
Kaccha or Kachera – undergarment shorts
Kara – steel bracelet

It was after this that Guru Gobind Singh declared the end of the Gurus in human form and bestowed the Guru Granth Sahib as the last Sikh Guru, a religious scripture now used in Sikh prayer.

What is Vaisakhi?

Let me begin with a story.

The True King of the north has built a fortress in the mountains and is coming under attack from the southern King on the Peacock Throne.

The nation’s in turmoil and the True King needs renewed loyalty from his banner-men to keep his people safe.

He turns to his supporters and asks them to form a new band of the Pure Ones, promising to make these high sparrows strong enough to challenge a hawk, and calling them the Khalsa.

Now you could be forgiven for thinking I’ve given away spoilers to the new season of Game of Thrones, starting later this month.

In fact, it’s the background to the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi, being celebrated around the world today.

In the late 17th century, Mughal India experienced great instability and many were persecuted by Emperor Aurangzeb.

He saw Guru Gobind, known to Sikhs as the True King, as a direct political challenger.

An attack was imminent, and the 10th Guru wanted to be prepared.

He summoned his Sikhs on the day of the spring harvest festival, Vaisakhi, in 1699 and created the Khalsa, the Pure Ones.

It became the inner core of the faith.

Men and women, young and old, rich and poor were treated equally as brothers and sisters of one big family.

They were defenders of the faith as well as defenders of all faiths.

Men took the surname ‘Singh’ or lion, and women ‘Kaur’ or princess.

The following century saw battles for survival, eventually leading to the golden era of the Sikh Empire under Ranjit Singh, as discussed on Radio 4’s In Our Time just last week.

In the present day, it’s easy to understand the unease with having a charismatic leader creating an armed force.

Taken out of context, one can draw parallels with fantasy dramas or even the horrors of what’s happening in some parts of the world right now.

Such parallels are, thankfully, superficial.

The Khalsa was established as a group willing to defend the rights of everyone to live in peace and harmony, regardless of their views and beliefs, and only fighting in battle as a last resort.

That’s why Sikhs fought alongside British forces in the First and Second World Wars.

That’s why Sikhs can be found alongside others feeding the street homeless in our towns and cities, helping flood victims in Yorkshire and Cumbria last winter, and travelling to Europe and beyond to assist with humanitarian relief efforts for the refugee crisis.

To help the vulnerable, to re-instil human dignity, to provide comfort wherever necessary.

By marking the birthday of the Khalsa, Sikhs celebrate the birth of their faith as it exists today.

It’s a beacon of hope to all and a means, in the words of Guru Gobind Singh, to ‘recognise the whole of humanity as one’.

What is Vaisakhi, and why is it celebrated?

Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is a legendary harvest festivity celebrated in the spring season by Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab territory for a prolonged period in other parts of North India too.

Vaisakhi marks the beginning of the Hindu Solar New Year, usually celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April every year, 14th being this year.

While ceremonies take place predominantly in northern India, the festival is also commemorated worldwide in countries like Canada, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nepal, and the UK.

What happens at the Vaisakhi festival?

Hindus celebrate the origin of Goddess Ganga on this day, and in her honor, devotees assemble for a holy dip along the banks of the river Ganga.

While that’s the way Hindus rejoice Vaisakhi, Punjabi’s do it a bit differently.

In Punjab, Vaisakhi marks the harvest of the rabi crops, and farmers pay their tribute by praising God for a plentiful harvest as a token of prosperity.

Vaisakhi Celebrations in India

People in India celebrate Vaisakhi in their traditions.

Still, the most common ones are dancing, singing, dressing in holiday finery, and observing wrestling bouts alongside relishing the numerous parades during this time.

Dancing and food are the main two ways of rejoicing this event.

Men dance to Bhangra, and women dance to Gidda while enjoying holiday foods and special treats such as kada prasad (sweets).

This festival holds significance to Sikhs.

Many Sikhs take this occasion to get baptized & parades called Nagar Kirtan by making their way along the streets singing hymns from a worship book known as Guru Granth Sahib.

Vaisakhi Blooms by La Fleur Online Florist

While the Vaisakhi festive smell is in the air for Punjabi’s, Sikhs & Hindus, the best way to celebrate the new year is with La Fleur’s fresh from the farm blooms to cherish this day for you and your loved ones.

Send Vaisakhi gifts online for delivering happiness, prosperity & joy, and loved ones in your life.

This day represents the spring and marks the establishment of the Khalsa, also termed as Khalsa Sirjana Divas.

Baisakhi festival celebrations are cherished with joy and exuberance, exhilarated by flower bouquets as a colorful token of love.

In such crucial times, occasions are when distance feels the most.

To fill in this gap, La Fleur Online Florist gifts you the opportunity to shower love on your loved ones virtually, with colorful flower bouquets.

Vaisakhi is the time of festivities and celebration, and what other than a bunch of hand-picked colorful flowers would denote it! From Chrysanthemums, Gerbera to Mixed Flowers, La Fleur has quality flowers for all occasions, including Vaisakhi!

Vaisakhi: A celebration by Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists

It’s a day of celebration. It’s harvesting time again.

It’s the start of a new solar calendar year.

Homes are cleaned and decorated.

New clothes are bought.

Colourful patterns are painted on doorsteps.

Local community spaces are splashed with vibrant spring hues.

Festoons garland the skies.

Men and women, clad in new clothes, flock to their local Gurudwara, with flowers and offerings, to thank the lord for this year’s abundant crop and to pray for future prosperity. It’s Vaisakhi.

Although primarily celebrated in the Punjab region and regarded as a harvest festival and the Punjabi New Year, Vaisakhi was also one of the three festivals chosen by their Guru Amar Das Ji, to be celebrated by Sikhs, as it was on this day that the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa or the Order of the Pure Ones.

But Vaisakhi or Baisakhi, as it is more popularly known, is not a celebration that is restricted to the Sikh Punjabi community.

Hindus from Punjab and other parts of India also celebrate the festival albeit for different reasons.

It is believed that on this day, thousands of years ago, Goddess Ganga descended to this planet to rid man of all his sins.

Hindus mark this day by taking the ritual dip in the Holy waters of the Ganga and offer flowers and worship to the Goddess river.

This festival is also celebrated as the New Year amongst many Indian communities following the Solar calendar, including the Tamil community who celebrate the Tamil Puthandu or the Tamil New Year on Vaisakhi day.

Vaisakhi, also known as Vesakha is an important day for Buddhists as well.

Celebrated throughout the Buddhish community as Buddha Purnima, it is commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautam Buddha.

On this day, various temples hoist the Buddhist flag before dawn and sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha (Guru), The Dharma (his teachings) and The Sangha (his disciples).

Devotees present their gurus offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks as a reminder that just as flowers wither away and candles and joss-sticks burn out, so too all that is living today will die one day.

What is the meaning behind the festival?

Vaiskahi, also known as Baisakhi, is celebrated by Sikhs around the world and is also a festival in Hinduism

For Hindus, Vaisakhi marks an ancient harvest festival and the solar new year.

It also marks when Sikhism was born as a collective faith in 1699, when the Khalsa was founded.

The Khalsa means initiated Sikhs, but also those who consider Sikhism a faith.

The first Khalsa, which took place under Guru Gobind Singh, was a ceremony known as Amrit Sanchar.

It saw five men step forward when he asked for volunteers who were willing to give their lives for God.

But they returned unharmed and instead had been baptised and became known as the Panj Pyare, or the Beloved Five.

As part of the occasion, the Guru sprinkled a holy water known as Amrit on the five men.

How is it celebrated?

People often visit temples or gurdwaras on Vaisakhi, were special services take place.

They also gather together to celebrate with singing, dancing, hymns and special food often making up part of the occasion.

In usual times, before Covid-19, Vaisakhi celebrations would traditionally feature parades, which were held in many places the world.

Processions known as Nagar Kirtan usually take place, which includes the singing of holy hymns and usually features five people dressed in religious attire representing the Panj Pyare.

The Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, is usually raised on a platform leading the parade, to signify its importance.

In the UK, large-scale events usually take place across the country including performances and gatherings at Trafalgar Square in London, but due to Covid-19, many events including this one won’t go ahead for a second year running.

Events would also usually include performances by Sikh artists, dances, food stalls and more, with smaller community fairs often taking place around the country. 


What is Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi is one of the most popular and important festivals celebrated in the state of Punjab and various other parts of India.

It is an annual harvest festival that marks the beginning of the Hindu and Sikh solar New year.

This year, Vaisakhi falls on Tuesday 13 April.

On Vaisakhi, Mandirs (Hindu temples) and Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) are decorated.

Hindus perform a mandatory Daan (charity) especially of hand fans, water pitchers and seasonal fruits followed by a ritual dip in Ganga river or any holy river.

Community fairs are held at Hindu pilgrimage sites and a procession of temple deities is taken out.

Sikhs hold kirtans and visit local Gurdwaras and community fairs and nagar kirtan processions are held with people gathering to socialise and share festive foods.

The harvest festival is also characterized by the folk dance, Bhangra which traditionally is a harvest dance.

Vaisakhi also marks the formation of ‘Khalsa Panth’ – Sikhism was born as a collective faith under the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in 1699.

The Khalsa Panth was formed after the execution of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur Singh, who did not follow Aurangzeb’s orders and refused to convert to Islam. 

Vaisakhi was also the day when British troops fired on a large crowd of unarmed Indians in an open space known as the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab state of India, killing and wounding several hundred people.  

Vaisakhi is the day when Hindus believe the River Goddess Ganga descended on earth from heaven.

One of the largest Vaisakhi fairs in India is held at Haridwar, which is an important Hindu pilgrimage.

Around 50 lakhs pilgrims throng Brahm Kund in Haridwar to take a dip in Ganga River on this festival.

What is Baisakhi and Its Significance?

This is considered one of the most popular festivals in the Punjab and Haryana states. In different parts of the country, the festival is known by different names, such as Rongali Bihu in Assam, Rongali Bihu in West Bengal, Vaishakha in Bihar, Vishu in Kerala, and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.

Baisakhi is observed on April 13th Every year.

It is only celebrated once every 36 years on April 14th.

People of the Hindu and Sikh religions view and celebrate this day in the following ways.

The Significance of Baisakhi

Baisakhi is considered one of the three major Hindu festivals for Sikhs.

Diwali and Maha Shivratri are the other two.

For a variety of purposes, the day is considered auspicious and celebrated.

This ancient Hindu festival commemorates the beginning of the Solar Year.

On this day, Hindus also celebrate the spring harvest.

It’s also a spring harvest festival for Sikhs.

For those in the Sikh culture, it is the first day of the New Year.

In history this was remembered as the persecution and execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who refused to convert to Islam as ordered by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, this day marked the beginning of the Sikh order.

This culminated in the tenth Sikh Guru’s coronation.

Both of these things happened on Baisakhi Day.

Baisakhi Celebrations

On Baisakhi, Gurudwaras which is a place of worship are decorated with lights and flowers, and community fairs and Nagar kirtan processions are held to commemorate the occasion.

Nagar kirtan processions are also conducted in many locations throughout the world, with massive gatherings attending.

During these processions, people sing holy songs, crack crackers, and distribute sweets.

As a result, prayers are given, and people appreciate and celebrate the festival through these huge processions.

On this day, many people also go to nearby rivers or lakes early in the morning to take a holy dip before visiting Gurudwaras.

Hindus engage in the festival by a dip in sacred rivers such as the Ganga, Kaveri, and Jhelum, as well as visiting temples.

Many pilgrims even visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, which is regarded as Sikhism’s holiest Gurudwara.

As part of the celebration, everyone plans to get-togethers and share festive foods with their loved ones.

This celebration is also called in different names by Hindus in different regions, Pohela Boishakh in Bengal, Bohag Bihu, or Rangali Bihu in Assam and other North-Eastern states of India, Vishu in Kerela, and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.

For these cultures, today is the first day of the year.

Baisakhi is celebrated with zeal across the country and world, especially in Punjab, where people march in procession, light firecrackers, host a feast for their loved ones, and generally have a good time.

Canada’s Sikh Population and Baisakhi

Canada has a large Sikh population, and the Sikh community in Canada comes alive on April 13th for Baisakhi celebrations.

Large, local Sikh communities in the cities of Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Surrey hold annual Vaisakhi celebrations in April, which include two Nagar Kirtans (parades).

Surrey, a city rich in Sikh culture and people, is located in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar Temple is one of the most important contributors to Baisakhi celebrations in Canada, particularly in Surrey.

The Surrey Vaisakhi parade, which is said to be the largest Baisakhi celebration in Canada and outside of India, is organized by the Gurdwara.

The parade has been organized by the Gurdwara for nearly two decades.

The Sikh community welcomes people from all walks of life to participate in the parade, and this welcoming attitude has helped Baisakhi celebrations in Canada become a worldwide phenomenon.

In the province of Alberta, the Edmonton Vaisakhi parade takes place in May and travels between the Gurdwara Singh Sabha (4504 Millwoods Road S) and Gurdwara Millwoods (2606 Millwoods Road E) temples.

The Maritime Sikh Society in Halifax, Nova Scotia, hosts Vaisakhi celebrations in April, with Shabad Kirtan performed by professional ragis (musicians).

In the Province of Ontario, the Toronto Vaisakhi Parade takes place in April, and it begins at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds and ends nearly three hours later at Toronto City Hall.

After the parade, dignitaries address the crowd until late in the afternoon.

In the city of Brampton, Vaisakhi cultural events include yoga, pagh (turban) tying, storytelling, and food fairs at the Gurudwara Sikh Sangat temple and Gobind Sarvar Gurmat School.

In the Province of Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon Vaisakhi parade takes place in May and it begins and ends at the Gurudwara Sahib Temple at 331 Lowe Road.

A Festival or holiday presents a great opportunity to reach out to loved ones that you may not see all that often but would likely connect with during the holidays.

Just because you can’t gather like you normally would, you can still find ways to connect and let your loved ones know that they are important to you by sending them money in just a flash, back home with no fees to pay when sending over $500, Remitbee is your best option.

What is Vaisakhi and why is it celebrated? 

Vaisakhi or Baisakhi, is one such festival, which is the Spring Harvest festival that is celebrated on 13th April every year for many centuries throughout India.

It marks the Hindu solar New Year.

However, it is a particular significance to the Sikhs.

Why is Vaisakhi important Sikhism? 

Vaishakhi is a particular significance to the Sikhs.

So let’s look at this special day for Sikhs first, For Sikhs, Vaisakhi is a religious & historical festival.

Vaisakhi is regarded as the Sikh New Year for the following reason:

  1. It is the date the Sikh religion, the Khalsa Panth, the “Order of the Pure Ones” was initiated. Guru Tegh Bahadurji was persecuted & executed by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, for helping the Kashmiri Pandits and refusing to convert to Islam on 11th Non 1675. The coronation of his son, the tenth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singhji took place on Vaisakhi, 1676. The historic formation of Khalsa, also took place on the Vaisakhi day in 1699. This day is also called Khalsa Sajna Divas. It was a day when Sikh warriors were baptized to defend religious freedoms. Guru Gobind Singhji wanted to instil courage & strength to his followers. He wanted to uplift their morale to combat the evil forces of injustice, tyranny, and oppression that was being given by the Mughal rulers.
  2. Ranjit Singh was proclaimed as the Maharaja of the Sikh Empire on 12th April, 1801, creating a unified political state. Sahib Singh Bedi, a descendant of Guru Nanak Devji conducted the coronation. 
  3. Sadly, it also commemorates another sad & dreadful incident in the History of India. It was on Vaisakhi in 1919 when the British colonial empire official, General Reginald Dyer carried out the Jallaianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar, on thousands of innocent, festive revellers who had gathered in the gardens. This shocked the world and triggered the Indian movement against colonial rule, which ended in 1947. 

How is Vaisakhi celebrated in India? 

On Vaisakhi, Gurdwaras are given a thorough spring-clean & beautifully decorated.

Sikhs visit the Gurdwaras, hold kirtans, community fairs and festive food is served in Nigar kirtans, which are organised processions through streets to chants of religious & local music, song & dances. 

These are led always led by two sets of 5 people, dressed in saffron clothes, one being the Panj Pyare, carrying Kirpans  and one the Panj Mukte, who carry the orange flags, called, Nishan Sahib. 

The procession arrives finally at the designated Gurudwara where Ardaas or the prayers of blessings are offered. 

Many Sikhs also choose Vaisakhi as the day to be baptised in to the Khalsa brotherhood. 

Special celebration takes place at

  • Talwandi Sabo, where Guru Gobind Singhji stayed for 9 months & completed the recompilation of the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Anandpur Sahib gurudwara, the birthplace of the Khalsa &
  • Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Why is Baisakhi celebrated in Punjab? And North India? 

Vaisakhi has been a spring harvest festival in Punjab, in northern India, for centuries, well before Sikhism was formed. 

It’s a very colourful event, with an air of joyous festivities. 

This day is observed as a thanksgiving day by farmers whereby farmers pay their tribute, thanking God for the abundant harvest and also praying for future prosperity. 

The first crop is cut by a group of people, while singing to the sound of drums.

In the evening, folk dances, called bhangra takes place, with Fairs, distribution of sweets and folklore tales recited by the elders.

Is Vaisakhi a Hindu festival? 

Many Hindus have a dip in sacred rivers such as Ganges, Jhelum, and Kaveri,  as we believe that the river Goddess Ganges descended to earth on Vaisakhi from Svarg or Heavens. 

One of the largest Vaisakhi fair in India is held at Haridwar, which is an important Hindu pilgrimage.

Over 50,000 pilgrims will throng Brahm Kund in Haridwar to take a dip in the river on this festival. 

Special thanksgiving prayers are held in every household to thank the Deities for the harvest.

Charity in the form of money, grains, cows or service is donated on this sacred day. 

Families would visit temples, meet friends and take part in other festivities.

It’s also a very auspicious day for marriages.

Most ladies will wear new clothes and bangles.

Many people re-decorate their homes.

Fresh paint is applied to walls & the floors are plastered.

It’s a time for new beginnings.

What are the five symbols of Sikhism? 

Guru Gobind Singhji offered five emblems of purity and courage. 

These symbols, worn by all baptised Sikhs of both sexes, are popularly known today as Five Ks:

  • Kesh, unshorn hair
  • Kangha, the wooden comb;
  • Karra, the iron (or steel) bracelet
  • Kirpan, the sword
  • Kachera, the loose, long briefs

What does Singh mean? Does Kaur mean Princess? 

By being identifiable, no Sikh could ever hide behind cowardice again. 

The Guru gave the surname of Singh (Lion) to every Sikh and also took the name for himself. 

He also pronounced that all Sikh women embody royalty, and gave them the surname Kaur (Princess). 

With the distinct Khalsa identity and consciousness of purity, Guru Gobind Singh gave all Sikhs the opportunity to live lives of courage, sacrifice, and equality.

Significance of Baisakhi in India

Baiskhi is also spelled ‘Vaisakhi’, and is a vibrant Festival considered to be an extremely important festival in India.

It is celebrated all over India under different names and rituals.

Astrological Significance of Baisakhi

The festival of Baisakhi falls on April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years. Change in date is because of the fact that date of Baisakhi is reckoned according to the solar calendar.

Astrologically, the date of Baisakhi is significant as marks sun’s entry into Mesh Rashi.

For this very reason, many people also know Baisakhi as Mesha Sankranti.

The auspicious date of Baisakhi is celebrated all over India under different names and rituals.

It is 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 for Farmers

For the agriculturally rich state of Punjab and Haryana, Baisakhi marks the time for harvest of Rabi (winter) crops and is therefore extremely significant 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 to express gratitude to God for the good harvest and seek blessing for ensuing agriculture season.

Farmers also celebrate Baisakhi by performing energetic bhangra and gidda dance and participating in Baisakhi Fairs.

Significance of Baisakhi in Sikhism

Baisakhi is of major importance for the people following Sikh faith.

As it was on a Baisakhi Day, in the year 1699 that the Tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh founded Khalsa Panth or the Order of Pure Ones and gave a unique identity to Sikhs.

On the same day the guru administered amrit (nectar) to his first batch of five disciples making them Singhs, a martial community.

By doing so, he eliminated the differences of high and low and established that all human beings were equal.

Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi by participating in special prayer meetings organized at gurdwaras.

They also carry out joyful Baisakhi processions to mark the day.

Significance of Baisakhi in Other Religions

The day of Baisakhi is of significance for the Hindus as it was on this day in 1875 that Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj – a reformed sect of Hindus who are devoted to the Vedas for spiritual guidance and have discarded idol worship. Besides, Baisakhi day is of relevance for the Buddhists as Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment and Nirvana on this auspicious day.

In Kerala, the festival is called ‘Vishu’.

It includes fireworks, shopping for new clothes and interesting displays called ‘Vishu Kani’.

These are arrangements of flowers, grains, fruits, cloth, gold, and money are viewed early in the morning, to ensure a year of prosperity.

In Assam, the festival is called Bohag Bihu, and the community organizes massive feasts, music and dancing. Bengalis mark it as new years day or ‘Naba Varsha’ or Pohela Boishakh in Bengal, Assam and Tripura.

Puthandu (Tamil New Year) in Tamil Nadu.

Whatever the history says, today Baisakhi is celebrated with all pomp and show in almost all parts of the country.