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Guru Nanak Jayanti today: history, significance, and all you need to know

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The first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak, was born on Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti.

For Sikhism adherents, Guru Nanak Jayanti is the most significant festival. It is celebrated to mark the anniversary of their first Sikh Guru who played an important role in shaping and strengthening the Sikh community.

According to Sikh literature, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak is celebrated on the Full Moon day of the Indian lunar month, Kartik.

Guru Nanak is believed to have founded Sikhism. According to the Nanakshahi calendar, Guru Nanak was believed to have been born on April 14, which is Vaisakhi.

However, some Sikh communities hold the belief that Guru Nanak was born on the full moon day of Kartik, the lunar month that falls between October and November on the Gregorian calendar.

On the occasion, two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti, celebrations begin in Gurudwaras. Akhand Path is a continuous 48-hour recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib. 

A Nagarkirtan procession is planned one day before Guru Nanak’s birthday. The Panj Pyare, five men carrying the Sikh triangular flag, Nishan Sahib, lead the procession.

During the procession, the holy Guru Grant Sahib is transported in a palanquin. Groups of people perform hymns, play traditional instruments, and demonstrate their martial arts skills.

Guru Nanak Ji is said to believe to start “langar” which translates as ‘an almshouse’ or ‘a place for the poor and needy’ but in the Sikh tradition, that is the name given to a community kitchen.

When Guru Nanak was a child, it is said that his father gave him some money and told him to go to the market to do “Sacha Sauda” (a good deal). When Nanak was just 12 years old, his father, a well-known village trader, wanted him to learn the family business. 

The Guru used the money to buy food for a large group of saints who had been hungry for days instead of making a worldly deal. He described that as the “true business.”

On Guru Nanak Jayanti, the processions and celebrations are followed by a langar arranged at Gurudwaras by volunteers.

This year Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is on November 8, 2022, today. It will be observed as the 553rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Also this year, on the occasion of Kartik Purnima, a total Lunar Eclipse or Chandra Grahan (also known as the Blood Moon) will take place.

Nanak Ji propagated selfless service to humanity, prosperity, and social justice for all irrespective of any demographic differences.

 

 

 

 

 

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