Friday 14th April marks the first day of the month of Vaisakhi in the Sikh calendar, which typically falls around mid-April every year. Vaisakhi has great religious and cultural significance for Sikhs and marks the start of the harvest season in Punjab, India.
Creation of the Khalsa Panth—Khalsa Saajna Divas
Considered one of the most important days in Sikh history, Vaisakhi commemorates the formation of the Khalsa Panth, the collective body of initiated Sikhs. It is born from surrendering our egos.
A brief history
The Khalsa was established by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh Guru, in 1699 in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. He asked Sikhs to gather in the city on Vaisakhi. During the gathering, he asked for volunteers willing to sacrifice their lives as a test of faith. Five Sikhs came forward, known as the Panj Piare (the Five Beloved Ones). The Panj Piare formed the Khalsa Panth, who then initiated Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself into the Khalsa.
Articles of faith
The formation of the Khalsa was a turning point in Sikh history. It marked the formalisation of the Sikh community and the adoption of the five articles of the faith to be worn by initiated Sikhs:
- kesh (uncut hair)
- kanga (a small wooden comb)
- kara (a steel bangle)
- kirpan (a short sword)
- kachera (a specific type of undergarment shorts)
The Khalsa was also given the responsibility to fight for freedom for everybody around the world, regardless of their faith, caste, gender, colour, age etc.
This day is a reminder to Sikhs of the importance of living a life of discipline, courage, and devotion to humanity and justice.
A season of harvest
In Punjabi culture, Vaisakhi is also known as the harvest festival in Punjab. It is a time when farmers celebrate the fruits of their labour and offer gratitude for a bountiful crop.
During Vaisakhi, people participate in cultural activities such as traditional dances, music, and feasting. The festival is a symbol of the close relationship between Punjabi culture and agriculture, and it emphasises the importance of sustainable farming practices and respect for the Earth.
I hope everyone enjoys the celebrations and reflects on the deeper meaning of Vaisakhi.