Guru Nanak Jayanti, is very auspicious day to memorise and honour to Guru Nanak Devji, the founder of religion of Sikhism was born in 1469 A.D. in the village of Talwandi in Lahore, Pakistan. Guru Nanak was the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. It is part of Sikh religious belief that the spirit of Guru Nanak’s sanctity, divinity and religious authority. Sikhs do not worship idols and believe that God is indistinct. They celebrate the birth anniversaries of 10 Sikh gurus as Gurpurabs with devotion and dedication.
The festival starts with a morning procession, known as prabhat pheri. The whole procession starts from the gurdwara. Usually two days before the birthday of Guru Nanak, ‘Akhand Path’ or forty-eight hour non-stop reading of the holy book of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib is carried on at the Gurdwaras.
Gurpurab day begins early with the singing of the Asa-di-Var (morning hymns) and hymns from the Sikh scriptures. It is followed with Katha or the exposition of the scriptures along with poems and lectures in praise of Guru Nanak. Langar or special community lunch is prepared at the Gurdwaras. The langar along with ‘Karah Prasad’ is offered to men and women of all communities.
In evening, the Gurdwaras are illuminated and people visit them in large numbers. People also illuminate their homes with candles and earthen lamps.
- Guru Nank Dev was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus.
- The fifth Guru, Guru Arjun compiled the Granth Sahib, the final form of which was given by the tenth Guru, Guru Govind Singh.
- In order to give the Sikhs a different identity, Guru Govind Singh, introduced the five Ks: “kes” or unshorn hair and beard, “kangh” or comb in the hair, “kara” or steel bangle on the right wrist, “kacch” or short drawers and “kirpan” or steel dagger.
- The main shrine of the Sikhs is the Golden Temple of Amritsar, in Punjab.
This year 2012, Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on November 28.