Guru Nanak Jayanti Celebration

Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated in the month of October or November by all the followers of Guru Nanak with utmost reverence. Like any other Indian festival, the celebrations of Guru Nanak Jayanti are also elaborate. It is yet another occasion to give a cause of celebration to the people of India. In 2019, it will be celebrated on 12 November.

Celebrations of this occasion are more spiritual and indulge people in taking name of God and his devoted worshiper Guru Nanak who had striven hard to make mankind learn the true nature and significance of the prayer. It is an occasion to let go of all the superstitions and hatred, a dream that Guru Nanak harboured for mankind.

The major highlights of Guru Nanak Jayanti

Prabhat Pheris or Early Morning Processions

The Prabhat Pheris start a week or ten days before the actual festival of Guru Nanak Jayanti. The followers of Guru Nanak assemble at the nearest Gurudwara and singing shabads and hymns in praise of Guru Nanak march towards the home that has invited Sangat (a gathering of people for religious purposes). The sangat is welcomed with a shower of rose petals. After an hour dedicated to singing of prayers and hymns, prashad is distributed to the sangat which generally includes Karah Prashad along with other delicacies like bread pakoras (bread stuffed with potatoes and deep fried in oil) and almond milk.

It is said that the best time to pray and meditate is the early morning as the body and mind can concentrate best during this time of the day and Prabhat Pheris (Early morning processions) are hence held to remember the almighty in the best way possible. The sacred nature of this time is of much importance in Sikhism as the time is also called Amrit Vela (ambrosial hour of the morning).

Akhand Path

Akhand path refers to complete reading of Guru Granth Sahib in the time span of 48 hours. The term "Akhand" itself means unhindered and "path" is a reference to prayer. Akhand Path is held in Gurudwaras all across the world around the time of Guru Nanak Jayanti. Some people also bring Guru Granth Sahib to their place and arrange for the Akhand Path at their homes. The representatives of Gurudwara also called Bhai Ji generally read the Granth Sahib. However, sometimes the family members also take turns to read. The family makes sure to arrange for the food, tea and other requirements for the Bhai Ji to the best of their capacity. After two days, the path culminates with Ardaas and distribution of Karah Prashad and Langar (free food) to everyone present.


A procession is held on the day of Guru Nanak Birthday. Guru Granth Sahib is carried on a float decorated with flowers. The procession starts from one Gurudwara of the city and ends at the other one. The entire way to be taken by the procession is cleaned by the devotees in respect of Guru Granth Sahib. There are food stalls arranged by the worshippers at the entire route for all those who participate in the procession. The procession is headed by five armed guards called Panj Pyaras (translating to five dear ones in English). School children also participate in the procession. There is loud noise of hymns and chants and the devotees bow in reverence to Guru Granth Sahib from wherever the procession passes.

Decoration and Fireworks

The Gurudwaras are worth a view at the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti. They are beautifully lit up in lights of several colors. People go and light candles at the Gurudwaras and also at their own places. Special Kirtan programmes are organized in the gurudwaras. This is followed by bursting of crackers and launching fireworks in the sky.

One can give the following gifts to friends and relatives at the occasion of Guru Nanak Birthday:
  • A Prayer Book containing hymns and shabads from Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Special key rings, photo frames, and statues of Guru Nanak Dev.
  • A travel trip to the Golden temple Amritsar.
  • A scalf or a bag with Gurbani (Verses from Guru Granth Sahib) imprinted on it. 1469 in Janpath, New Delhi is one place where you can find them.
  • T-shirts with quotes from Gurbani or teachings of Sikhism available at 1469 in Janpath, New Delhi.

Last Updated on : January 7, 2019