About Guru Nanak Jayanti
Gurupurab refers to the occasion of the birthday of the founder and first guru of Sikhs Nanak Devji. This occasion is celebrated not only by Sikhs rather all the followers of Nanak Devji across different religions include Hindu Punjabis and Sindhis. Guru Nanak Devji was born in Rai Bhoi Di Talwandi and also known as Nankana Sahib in 1469 A.D at Lahore, Pakistan. This is the reason why Nanak’s dev birthday is also celebrated in Pakistan and still many people in Pakistan following the teachings and beliefs of Guru Nanak.
Significance of Guru Nanak Jayanti
Guru birthday is an occasion of utmost significance for Sikhs as Guru Nanak devji is founder of Sikh religion. The Sikhs all over the world take pride in their rich religion remembering the teachings of Nanak devji.
Gurupurab Rituals and Ceremony
The actual day celebrations of Gurupurab is started with the first day activities involve Akhand path, uninterrupted reading of the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib for two days before Guru Nanak jayanti at Gurdwaras and even at homes and on this beautiful occasion, Gurdwaras are also decorated with flowers and lights.
On the second day, prabhat pheris are conducted. Prabhat meaning ‘early morning’ and pheris meaning ‘rounds’. Sikh devotees visit early morning at the Gurdwaras and a huge procession is organized which is called ‘Nagar- kirtans’ with five armed guards called ‘panj pyaras ‘fronting it. The devotees holding Sikh flags called ‘Nishan Sahib’, along a march with decorated palanquin carrying the holy scripture of the Sikhs guru granth sahib, quotes and hymns from the scripture, the resounding drum beats by local bands A team of Sikh people attired in traditional clothes, play ‘Gatka’ as they display their skills in sword fighting and martial arts.
On the third day, this the actual day of Guru Nanak jayanti and it is started with the recital of Asa-di-Var early morning. Poems, hymns, and quotes are read out that uphold Nanak’s devji exemplary life and it is followed by the ‘katha’ of the guru granth sahib, along with discourses and insightful lectures and Kirtans darbars are also conducted. A sweet ‘karah Prasad’ is also served and also hold night prayers or rehras.
Nankana sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak becomes the hub of activity and Special arrangements are made with the support of managing committee and the state government as huge numbers from India, Europe and the U.S. to participate in the activities of the holy day and seek blessings. In the day of Guru Nanak jayanti, the golden temple in Amritsar, India also sees a constant stream of devotees from everywhere. Gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh especially come with the spirit of inner joy an there are so many arrangements are made for ‘langar’ as lakhs of devotees are served by food by volunteers and people who wish to immerse themselves in ‘seva’ or service to humanity. After the langar, a prayer session takes place. Since Guru Nanak’s birth was after midnight, the celebrations also go on past midnight.