Vaisakhi Festival

Posted on : 19/10/2016No of views: 1832

Vaisakhi Festival

By Manjit Singh Aujla

      Vaisakhi is one of the major festivals in Punjab, India. All Punjabis celebrate this Festival with great pump and show. As Punjabi Community is scattered all over the World, this festival is celebrated all over the world as well. This festival comes in April 13 or 14. Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance for the community. On the other hand in Sikh religion it has tremendous significance as on a Vaisakhi Day on 30 March 1699, Guru Gobind Singh; the tenth Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa the Order of the Pure Ones or "Khalsa (Baptized Sikh) Sirjana (Creation) Divas (Day). Vaisakhi festival falls on the first day of Vaisakh month (April) according to Nanakshahi or Sikh Calendar.  According to English calendar, the date of Vaisakhi corresponds to April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years.

      The Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, became the Emperor of India in 1657. To achieve his aim to convert all Hindus into Muslim. The Kashmiri Brahmins were his primary target. He levied unethical religious taxes against Hindus, and shut their temples and places of learning. They approached Guru Tegh Bahadur, ninth Guru of Sikh Religion. At the time of their meeting, Guru Tegh Bahadur's nine year old son, Gobind Rai, was sitting beside them. As Guru Tegh Bahadur went into a deep state of contemplation, his young son asked the reason of his repose. Guru Tegh Bahadur said that the matter was of vital importance; the world is aggrieved by oppression; and no brave man had yet come forward who was willing to sacrifice his life to free the earth from the burden of' Aurangzeb's persecution of Hindus. Young Gobind Rai replied: "For that purpose who is more worthy than thou who art at once generous and brave." So after entrusting the Guruship to Gobind Rai, Guru Tegh Bahadur proceeded towards Delhi where among hundreds of people's gathering Guru Teg Bahadur was killed mercilessly and no one came forward openly to claim the body of Sikh Guru to perform religious rites except two people, Bhai Jaita and Bhai Lakhi Shah.

      On Vaisakhi Day, 30 March, 1699, hundreds of thousands of people gathered around his divine temporal seat at Anandpur Sahib. The Guru addressed the congregants with a most stirring oration on his divine mission of restoring their faith and preserving the Sikh religion. Congregants were frightened and started to disperse. This way Guru selected five people, took them into a Tent and brought them out in a unique Uniform and swords with their new names with last name as 'SINGH'.

    Punjabi Celebrations

Celebration in the lush fields of Punjab     

Let us see now the Vaisakhi celebration in Australia. We celebrate it in two ways, Religious way, in Sikh Gurdwaras and Temples. Social way to entertain our Community. Social Function is always organised in Sandown race course ground Springvale. Before announcing dates of celebrations we contact our religious places about their dates of celebration and then make announcement of Social function which comes after religious celebrations. Like an old saying, "When you are in Rome do as Romans do." For both types we have to wait for weekend. Even we wait for weekend we are not celebration this Festival on same day all over Australia. The reason is again of our spectators' availability.

      In Religious places we are celebrating this festival as "Khalsa Sirjana Divas"and at Sandown Race Course ground we celebrate to entertain our community. Social function starts on the beginning of the day and go for whole day. Sports items like Merry Go Rounds entertainment for Children, Kabaddi game is entertainment for Punjabi youth, singers, Bhangra and Gidha, entertain the whole crowd. From the beginning of the festival until finish various stalls also become a part of this festival and earn money as well. Vaisakhi mela (festival)is like Christmas in Australia and every Indian start counting days for the next year.