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Sunday, October 3, 2010


Baisakhi is also celebrated in April. The Hindu calendar begins with the month of Vaisakha, which starts on the 13th of April. The first day of this month, which is also the New Year day, marks the beginning of the business year in many parts of India. In the Punjab particularly, it is observed with great merry making because it also ushers in the harvest season. The fields are rich with the winter crops and man gets ready to reap the reward of his patient labour. To show his gratitude to bountiful Nature, he dances with joy. The Bhangra dance which is the most popular of the Punjabi folk dances, is performed on this occasion, at melas and fairs all over the state.

To the Sikhs, the first day of Vaisakha is a very special day. It was on such a day that Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa. The Sikhs visit their gurudwaras and take part in Akhand Path, the continuous reading of the Grant Sahib from cover to cover. In the evening, the holy book is taken out in a procession: Five leaders of the congregation walk in front of the Granth Sahib with drawn swords, in memory of the Panj Piyare (the five chosen ones). The Golden Temple at Amritsar, the most famous gurudwara of the Sikhs, is beautifully illuminated. The visitors bathe in the Pool of Immortality, after which the city of Amritsar is named.

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