Gurupurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated in the Kartik month (October or November). It is the most sacred festival for Sikhs across the world. It marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru and the founder of Sikhism. In this year Guru Nanak Birthday’s is going to fall on 14th November 2016, Monday. Here are the facts your next generation should know about the auspicious Guru Nanak Jayanti Festival.
About Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak was born on 1469. When he was 30 years old, he was mysteriously disappeared for up to 3 days. When he came back, he was practicing Sikhism. His birthday is one of the most important holidays for Sikhs. He traveled and shared his message of lord and he gained extensive followers. Now Sikhism is known as the fifth largest organized religion worldwide, with up to 25 million followers.
You may not know that Guru Nanak didn’t travel for adopting a new religion, according to a Sikh, Manjinder Singh. According to him, Guru was busy spreading the awareness of equality for all, even the equality for women along with abolishing the caste system in India. According to him, there is no Muslim, there is no Hindu. Everyone is equal to God, “Na Koi Hindu, Na Koi Muslim”. His teachings led the birth of Sikh religion.
Guru Nanak’s teaching
There are three simple teachings preached by Guru Nanak – Naam Japo, Kirt Karo aur Vand Shako. It means you should recite the name of god, live honestly and work hard, and share the fruits of your efforts with the needy. For him, human race is one. Despite the religion and gender, mankind has the right to live without any distinctions and it’s their birthright.
The Celebration of Guru Nanak’s Birthday
Guru Nanak Jayanti is a Sikh festival to celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak and with Akhand Path, reading Holy Scriptures of the Sikh, the Guru Granth Sahib, consistently from the beginning till the end. A team of Sikh women and men read it for around 2 to 3 hours over the duration of 48 hours. They start reading it before the two days of his birthday and end early on the morning of Guru Nanak Jayanti. On the day of event, procession takes place that is also known as “Prabhat Feri” where 5 armed guards, also known as “Panj Pyare” head the procession and carry Nishan Sahib (Sikh’s flag). The local band plays religious music during the procession.
On his birthday, Sikh families gather together for prayers at the Gurudwaras and read the stories on his life and his teachings. Like other Gurpurb, the Guru Granth Sahib is read from beginning to the end continuously for 48 hours along with the team of Sikh men and women. In this team, each person reads the Akhand Path for up to 3 hours. Parades are another common form of celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti. Several neighborhoods have Prabhat Feri predawn where communities walk along and sing Guru’s verses. The sweet food “Karah Prasad” is distributed to everyone and celebration continues till the evenings.