Guru Nanak Jayanti 2023: Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav, Gurpurab, and Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti, is a significant festival commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Celebrated with great fervor, this festival offers a glimpse into the essential teachings of Guru Nanak and is particularly vibrant in the state of Punjab, where Sikhism holds a significant presence.
Guru Nanak Jayanti usually falls on a full moon day during October-November. In 2023, the 554th birth anniversary will be celebrated on November 27. This auspicious occasion is marked as a gazetted holiday for the Sikh community in India. It is recognized as a public holiday in various states, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and other regions.
The festivities kick off two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti in Gurudwaras across the nation. The 'Akhand Path,' a non-stop 48-hour recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib, begins as a spiritual prelude. A colorful procession called 'Nagarkirtan' takes place, led by five men carrying the Sikh triangular flag.
The celebration starts with 'Prabhat Pheris,' early morning processions at Gurudwaras. These processions wind through decorated streets adorned with flags and flowers. The Guru Granth Sahib is placed in a palanquin, accompanied by a group singing religious hymns and the resonance of traditional musical instruments. Some participants showcase their martial arts skills, adding a dynamic aspect to the celebration.
Integral to Sikh tradition, 'Langar' refers to a community kitchen in a gurdwara, providing food to anyone in need, regardless of caste, class, religion, or gender. The Langar embodies the spirit of welcoming everyone as the Guru’s guests. The Sikh community actively engages in 'Seva,' or community service, by offering food and shelter to those in need. Kada Prasad, a traditional sweet, is made and distributed generously during this festival.
1. The Golden Temple, Amritsar: The Golden Temple in Amritsar stands as the epicenter of celebrations. Devotees stay in the gurdwara, seeking blessings and witnessing the illumination of the Akal Takht, the seats of power, on Guru Nanak's birthday.
2. Gurdwara Nankana Sahib: Across the border, Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Guru Nanak's birthplace, attracts pilgrims throughout the year.
3. Gurdwara Manikaran Sahib, Kullu: The hill station of Kullu hosts Gurdwara Manikaran Sahib, commemorating Guru Nanak's visit and congregation of Sikhs in the area.
4. Gurudwara Sis Ganj, Delhi: Situated in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, Gurudwara Sis Ganj honors Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is a popular Sikh pilgrimage center featuring a prayer hall with exquisite glass chandeliers and a high ceiling.