Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti commemorates the birthday of last and tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Special prayer gatherings and large processions are held at all the Gurudwar as this day. Guru Gobind Singh was born on December 22, 1666 at Patna Sahib. Generally, his birthday falls between December and January, or twice a year sometimes, as it is according to Hindu Bikrami Calendar.
About Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 C.E.) was the 10th Guru of Sikh community after Guru Tegh Bahadur, his father who sacrificed his life for the protection of Hindus and their liberty to worship, who were once threatened with death or conversion by Muslim rulers. There was uncontrolled robbing of goods and kidnapping of women, but the people were terrorized to bear it and were too timid. With this political scenario, Guru Gobind Singh, as both soldier and saint, earned huge stature and led great devotion to god and firm spiritual beliefs. At the same time, he achieved great dedication to protect all the people from injustice and oppression with Kshatradharma practice.
In the year 1699, he assigned five men from lower castes significantly as his Panj Pyare (Five Beloveds), blessed them with closeness to God and great courage. They were the models for the Order of the Purity, Khalsa, created by Guru Gobind Singh to stand against injustice. The Khalsa was held under his brave inspiration and a very spiritual and strict moral discipline to turn the wave against oppression of Mughals in India.
Along with his military and spiritual leadership, Guru Gobind Singh was a gifted personality and he had several poems in his court. He wrote several effective spiritual compositions to infuse martial spirit and inspire people a lot. It also consists of Jaap Sahib. But it was not included in Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. His poems have been received in another volume, the Dasam Granth. Sikhs were instructed to consider Guru Granth Sahib as their spiritual Guru. These days, the Guru Granth Sahib is the perpetual leader of Sikh now.
Large processions commonly go through the markets on this day in India. During the procession, people sing devotional songs and share cold drinks, sweets or Sharbat among children and adults. At Gurudwaras, special prayer gatherings are held. Poems are recited and historical lectures are conducted to praise the Guru on the birthday. Special dishes are prepared and served in this occasion during the procession.
It is a restricted holiday. So, all the government offices and institutions remain open along with banks, businesses and public transport on Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti. The opening hours are based on the location and proximity of services to the festivities. According to religious observance, schools remain open.
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti in 2017
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti will be celebrated on January 5, 2017, Thursday. You can take limited number of restricted public holidays but most businesses and government offices will remain open. This way, you can have flexibility with this system to take time off to celebrate holiday in the vast cultural and religious society in India.