Celebrated by the Sikh community all across the world, Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is one of their holiest festivals that marks the birth of Guru Nanak. Founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak was the first Sikh Guru who travelled across the world to spread the message of peace, and teachings of God.

Considered one of the greatest religious innovators of all time, Guru Nanak was born on April 15, 1469, in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi (now in Pakistan; Nanakana Sahib). According to beliefs, almighty dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal truth. Guru Nanak had set up various spiritual social and political platforms based on equality, goodness, and virtue and his teachings are registered in the form of 974 hymns in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib. According to the beliefs of the Sikh religion, it is believed that the spirit of Nanak Dev descended upon each of the nine subsequent Gurus.

Guru Nanak’s history
He married at the age of 19 and had two sons, however, due to his lack of interest in worldly affairs, he drifted towards the spiritual world and at the age of 30, he visited various holy places to gain knowledge. He also tried different professions like agriculture, cattle-tending, and shop-keeping but failed to succeed. As per the Sikh traditions, the early years of Nanak Dev’s life were marked with various events that portrayed that he has been marked by divine grace.

Date of Guru Nanak Jayanti
According to the lunar calendar, Guru Nanak’s birthday is celebrated on the full moon day of Kartik month or Kartik Poornima. This year, followers of Guru Nanak will celebrate the 549th Prakash Parv or Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 12.

Significance of the festival
The announcement about the event was made through a procession called Nagar Kirtan taken out on November 1 from the gurdwara at Budhaji Nagar to the one at Ramdaspeth. Baba Guru Nanak Dev, the first guru of Sikhs, holds the highest position among the 10 gurus worshipped by the community. Guru Nanak was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus and was born in 1469.

Celebrations and festivities
On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, the celebration begins as early as 4 am with Prabhat Pheris, which is the morning procession. The processions start from Gurudwaras. The Gurudwaras are decorated with lights and flowers on this day. People sing morning hymns and read out Sikh scriptures. This is followed by a special community lunch called as the Langar. These langars are organised by the Gurudwaras and usually volunteers help in the preparation of the lunch. Everyone, irrespective of class, caste or creed, is welcome for the langar. In some Gurdwaras, evening and night prayers are recited. The celebration ends with singing Gurbani at about 2 am. Although Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated across the globe by the Sikh community, the celebration is more beautiful in Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab.