Besakhi festival in Pakistan Springy greetings to sikh yataris off the border
Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji
Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was one of the greatest religious innovators of all time and the founder of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak's birthday is celebrated by Sikhs on April 14th by the Nanakshahi calendar. (The date according to the lunar calendar changes annually but is usually in November.) Nanak was born about 40 miles from Lahore (now in Pakistan) in 1469. Nanak's religious ideas draw on both Hindu and Islamic thought, but are far more than just a fusion. Nanak was an original spiritual thinker and expressed his thoughts in extraordinary poetry that forms the basis of Sikh scripture. He is the mentor of Sikh community.
Historically, Sikhism arose, based on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, as an alternative to Hinduism and Islam when followers of those two religions were in conflict in India during the 16th century. Sikhism today is a separate world religion still numerically centered in India, but with a growing presence in Europe and America.
Hasan Abdal taxila
For Sikhs, Hasan Abdal has special significance and a special place in their hearts. It houses the imprint of the hand or panja believed to be that of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. This makes Panja Sahib one of the three holiest shrines of Sikh religion the other two being the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India and Nankana Sahib in Sheikhupura, Pakistan.
First, the word Panja is derived from panj, meaning five, and refers to the five fingers of the hand or the hand itself. Second, Sikhs use the word Sahib for the names of sacred personalities, places or books, just as Muslims use the word Sharif such as Mecca Sharif, Quran Sharif, Ka’ba Sharif etc
Baisakhi Mela is a mega event it is a religious festival, harvest festival and New Year`s Day all rolled into one. In April, this day marks the beginning of the Hindu solar New Year. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi has a very special meaning. It was on this day that their tenth and last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh - organized the Sikhs into Khalsa or the `pure ones`. By doing so, he eliminated the differences of high and low and established that all human beings are equal.
Baisakhi,Vaisakhi is widely celebrated by Sikhs in Western Punjab (Pakistan) as well, with festivities centered on the Panja Sahib complex in Hasan Abdal, numerous Gurudwaras in Nankana Sahib, and in various historical sites in Lahore. It is culturally and traditionally regarded as an important and significant Punjabi festival, further exemplified by the thousands of Sikh pilgrims from around the world arriving each year to commemorate the day at the sacred Sikh sites of Nankana Sahib and Hasan Abdal. Further, local Pakistani`s offer their well wishes and welcome the incoming pilgrims.
People of Punjab celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with exuberance and devotion. As the festival has tremendous importance in Sikh religion, major activities of the day are organized in Gurdwaras. People wake up early to prepare for the day. Many also take bath in the holy river to mark the auspicious occasion. After getting ready people pay a visit to their neighborhood gurdwara and take part in the special prayer meeting organized for the day. At the end of the Baisakhi ardas, congregates receive specially prepared Kara prasad or sweetened semolina. This is followed by a guru ka langar or community lunch. And this event goes.