Vaisakhi or Baisakhi is a very popular festival in Punjab, especially among the Sikh community. The day mostly falls on 13th April, but occasionally it is celebrated on 14th April. On the day of Vaisakhi, Khalsa Panth was established in 1699 by the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He created an order of the Pure. In Punjabi, it is also known as ‘Khalsa Sirjana Diwas’. Also, during the same time, the wheat turns golden, which means it is ready to harvest from the fields. So, farmers also pay tribute to God and start wheat harvesting on this day. That is why it was also known as the Harvest Festival.
Why do we celebrate Baisakhi?
People from Northern Indian as well as Southern India and different religion like Hinduism and Buddism also celebrate Vaisakhi with the same passion. Vaisakhi day is also considered as a New Year (Hindu solar New Year) by Hindus, and on this day, they worship and perform religious rituals to begin New Year in the right tone.
In Kerala, this day is celebrated as Vishu, in Tamil Nadu, it is known as Pongal, in Bengal and Tripura. It is called Naba Barsha in Odisha, the day is celebrated as Maha Vishuva Sankranti and in Assam as Bohag Bihu. Also in the year 1875, Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati on the day of Vaisakhi.
Buddhist also celebrates Baisakhi under the name Vesakha, Vaisakha, Vesak or Wesak. It is believed that Lord Buddha was born on this day. So, Vaisakhi is not just the festival of Sikhs but the entire nation though celebrated in different ways and with different names.
Vaisakhi Story in Sikhism
On 13th April 1699, Sikhs from all over Punjab gathered to celebrate the harvest festival of Baisakhi at Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara at Anandpur Sahib, utterly unaware of the fact that the day would become one of the most important days for them and the entire community. People were sitting, and suddenly Guru Gobind Singh Ji stood up after the morning kirtan and asked for a devoted Sikh who could give his head. There was silence all around and then a young man, Daya Ram, a Khatri of Lahore, stood up and went with Guru Ji behind the tent. After some time Guru Ji again came, but this time his sword had blood dripping from it. He again asked for the same and repeated it five times. People sitting there were worried about the men going behind the tent and never coming back. After this, Guru Gobind Singh Ji brought all the five men in front and established a Khalsa Panth. The five came to be known as ‘Panj Piare’ or ‘Beloved Five’. The men were then baptised into the Khalsa, and Guru Ji himself did the same. All of them were from different religion and life but brought together under one roof by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Since that day, Vaisakhi became an important festival for the Sikhs.