Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru and the founder of the Sikh religion, was born on the full moon day in the month of Kartik as per the Hindu calendar.
Hence, his birthday is celebrated as Guru Nanak Jayanti.
The date falls in October or November in the Gregorian calendar. Guru Nanak was born in 1469 A.D. at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi, some 30 miles from Lahore, in the present Pakistan.
The Sikhs visit Gurdwaras where special programs are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) are sung. Houses and Gurdwaras are decorated and lit up to add to the festivities.
Guru nanak jayanti is also known as ‘Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav’ and ‘Guru Nanak Gurpurab’. It is one of the most religious days celebrated in Sikh religion and is celebrated mostly in Punjab and Haryana on a massive scale.
There are many people who follow the philosophy Guru Nanak. The holy book of Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib is continuously chanted and processions are carried out and carrying the holy book decorated with flowers.
Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and he also established this religion. He was also the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus and was born in 1469.
Guru Nanak since childhood was attracted towards spirituality, religion, purity, humanity, devotion and goodness.
He soon realized his calling and deserted his family. Guru Nanak decided to become an ascetic and was greatly influenced by Hindu and Muslim religions.
He was the one who started preaching the masses: ‘There is no Hindu or Mussulman religion’.
It is said that while Guru Nanak was having a bath in the river Bain, he disappeared and reappeared after three days.
It is said that he was in direct communication with the Almighty.
Nanak was the one who always sat with holy books and was the great saint who preached humanity amongst human beings.
His main aim was to preach to the innocent people about pride, honor, respect and humanity.
On this day, mostly Gurudwaras are well decorated and people chant hymns from Sikh scriptures.
The day starts with Prabhat Pheris, which are early morning processions that begin from from Gurudwaras.
Before the actual Guru Nanak Jayanti, there is a procession known as the ‘Nagarkirtan’ and further led by Panj Pyaras. The ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is read for 48 hours.
People carry Sikh flags and organise a Palki of Guru Granth Sahib, singing devotional songs. An amazing display of swordsmanship and martial arts takes place which is a beautiful and unique sight to watch.
Once the procession is over, the ‘Langar’ is served – a special lunch organised by the community at the Gurudwaras.
People massively take part in offering food and also doing Seva of God. After Langar there is a prayer session around sunset.
It is said that Guru Nanak was born at 1:20 am and hence the followers gather and celebrate post midnight.
On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Karah Parasaad is prepared and served among everyone once the Puja is over.
Karah Parasaad is a sweet dish which has the utmost blessings of the great saint. This food item is especially for all those who have a sweet tooth. Further, Langar is served with respect and love.