Punjab Festivals »
Month: October- November
Significance: Guru Nanak's Birthday
The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak
-the first or the founder guru of the Sikhs, is celebrated with great fervour on the full
moon day of Kartika (October-November). Guru Parab, also known as
Jyototsava is one
of the most sacred festivals of the Sikhs.
Nanak was born in 1469 at Talwandi about 45 kms away from Lahore and is now
known as Nankana Sahib. Nanak was a great reformer, preacher and a saint.
In Sikhism he tried to harmonize both Hinduism and Islam.
He never believed in cast-distinction and liberalized social practices. He
traveled widely and preached the name of God as a potent means of spiritual
realization. God's name and its repetition helps us to develop the best in
us. A true Sikh strives not for salvation or paradise but to see God in the
form of love. Guru Nanak was followed by nine other Gurus, in succession
under whom Sikhism gradually developed. Other Gurus are also commemorated
on other Guru Purabs.
At Nankana Sahib, there is a beautiful
Gurudwara, and a holy tank or sarovar. On Guru Parab, a grand fair
and festival is held here, and Sikhs in thousand congregate here
from India and abroad. Guru Granth
Sahib, the holy scripture, is continuously read and recited in the
Gurudwaras ('Akhand path') all over the country, lamps are lighted, processions are taken out,
free langars (meals) are arranged and
prasad (holy food) is distributed. Pandals
are set up in various places and 'prasad' is distributed. Guru Purab celebrations at the Golden
Temple in Amritsar, Punjab is impressive.