One of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism is the Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurupurab. Also known as Prakash Utsav, the day marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and first Sikh Guru.
The date of Gurupurab varies from year to year in accordance to the traditional lunar calendar. This year, Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on Monday 30 November.
According to the Bikrami Calendar, Guru Nanak was born on Kartik Puranmashi, the full moon day of the month Kartik, which usually falls in November in the western calendar.
The place is in the present district of Shekhupura (Pakistan), now Nanakana Sahib. The religious ideas of Guru Nanak were developed from both Hindu and Islamic thought, but are more than a simple synthesis.
The date of Gurupurab varies from year to year in accordance to the traditional lunar calendar. The celebration of the guru’s birth anniversary begins two days prior to the actual date. Here is how the day is celebated.
CELEBRATION OF GURU NANAK JAYANTI
The festive event of Guru Nanak Jayanti includes the three-day Akhand Path, during which the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs is read out from the beginning to the end without a break.
On the second day, Nagarkirtan is celebrated. The concept of a Nagar Kirtan is to bring the message of God to the doorstep of the community.
The procession is headed by five armed guards, the representatives of the ‘Panj Pyaras,’ who carry the Nishan Sahibs or the Sikh flag epitomising their faith.
With morning hymns, the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurupurab starts. Followed by combination of kathas and kirtans in the praise of Guru, the day brings happiness and devotion in the Sikh people. Later, a special community lunch is organised followed by night prayer langars in the Gurudwaras.