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Festivals

Guru Nanak Jayanti

Guru Nanak Jayanti, the foremost of all the Gurupurabs or anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus, is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, who ushered in a new wave in religion. The first of the 10 Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak was born in 1469 at Talwandi, near Lahore. The disinclination to accept the practice of several religions in society, professing different deities drove the much-travelled leader to break free from the shackles of religious diversity, and establish a religion based on a single God who is the eternal truth. The festive event of Guru Nanak Jayanti includes the three-day Akhand Path, during which the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs is read out from the beginning to the end without a break. On the day of the main event, the Granth Sahib is ornamented with flowers, and carried on a float in a proper procession throughout a village or city.

The procession is headed by five armed guards, representatives of the ‘Panj Pyaras,’ who carry the Nishan Sahibs or the Sikh flag epitomising their faith. Religious hymns from the Granth Sahib are sung throughout the procession, marking a special feature of the event. The procession finally leads to a Gurudwara, where the gathered devotees get together for a community lunch, which is called Langar.