They say in India, there is a song for everything and a festival for every month. This is the month of one of India’s most vibrant festivals — Baisakhi. Also known as Vaisakhi, it is the harvest festival of the people of Punjab and Haryana. It marks the harvest season of the rabi crop. But what makes it such a big deal is the amazing way in which it is celebrated in the country, especially in Punjab. Also Read - Migrant Workers Allegedly Loot Four Cartons of Snacks Meant For Shramik Trains at Old Delhi Railway Station

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Punjab celebrates Baisakhi for two main reasons. The first, of course, is to celebrate the arrival of spring and thank the Gods for a good crop and harvest. However, a lesser-known reason to celebrate Baisakhi is the commemoration of the day the Khalsa was founded. It is on this day in 1699 that the tenth Sikh Guru brought together five Sikh volunteers and founded the Khalsa brotherhood. Therefore, unlike several other festivals in India, Baisaki is celebrated on the same date — April 13 (except every once in 36 years when it falls on April 14).

Baisakhi fair

Image: Satbir4/Wikimedia Commons

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Punjab springs to life during Baisakhi and becomes the envy of the rest of the world. There is no better time to be in Punjab than during Baisakhi. Celebrations begin with a ritual bath early in the morning. Devotees then head to gurudwaras to offer their prayers. The Golden temple is perhaps the best temple to witness Baisakhi rituals and celebrations. Once the prayers are offered, the most exciting part of the celebrations begin. People break into bhangra and gidda dance performances all across Punjab wearing their colorful, traditional costumes and loudly declaring “Jatta aayi Baisakhi“. Men wear their colorful lungis, kurtas and pagris while women wear their traditional salwar kameez. The Punjabi dhol is played out loud and people of all ages dance their hearts out bringing out their convivial Punjabi personalities. Scenes depicting farming activities like sowing and harvesting are performed by talented dancers. Fairs are organized in various parts of Punjab and are attended by people in large numbers. It all comes to an end with people greeting their friends and relatives and inviting each other for a delicious Punjabi meal.

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