Baisakhi also known as Vaisakhi, is a historical and religious festival of Sikhism. Baisakhi is usually celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year, as it commemorates the formation of Khalsa Panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Baisakhi not only holds great importance in Sikhism but it holds great importance for Hinduism as well because it marks the solar new year, based on the Vikram Samvat calendar. This festival marks the first day of the month of Vaisakha. It is also a spring harvest festival for Hinduism and Sikhs.
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Historical Importance Of Baisakhi
Baisakhi is a festival which observes major events in the history of Sikhism and the Indian subcontinent that happened in the Punjab region. One of the greatest historical associated with this festival in Sikhism is marking the birth of Sikh order started after the persecution and execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur for refusing to convert to Islam under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This event marks the coronation of the tenth Guru of Sikhism and the historic formation of Khalsa, both on the Vaisakhi day.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was proclaimed as Maharaja of the Sikh Empire on 12 April 1801 (to coincide with Vaisakhi), creating a unified political state.
Baisakhi also marks the horror event of Jallianwala bagh where thousands of innocent people were gathered peacefully to celebrate this festival and the colonial government at that time ordered to open fire on them, closing every exit gate possible so that nobody can escape. The Jallianwala massacre started an influential movement against the Colonial government.
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How Baisakhi Is Celebrated?
On this auspicious day of Vaisakhi, all the gurudwaras are decorated with flowers and lights and kirtans are held there. Sikhs visit and bathe in lakes or rivers before visiting local gurdwaras. Other events are also organized to celebrate this festival like Community fairs and Nagar kirtan processions where people gather to socialize and share festive foods.
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In Hinduism, the festival marks the traditional solar new year, a harvest festival, an occasion to bathe in sacred rivers such as Ganges, Jhelum, and Kaveri, visit temples, meet friends and take part in other festivities. In other parts of India, the Vaisakhi festival is known by various regional names.