Gurupurabs are anniversaries associated with the lives of the Sikh Gurus.
The Guru Nanak Birthday (Jayanti):
Guru Nanak Birthday celebrated as Gurpurab across India and all over the world.It is one of the auspicious religious festivals in Sikhism observed to commemorate and remember the birth and philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism. Sikhs celebrate this auspicious occassion each year on Kartik Poornima, the full moon day in November, the date changes from one year to another. The festival is celebrated with great religious fervor, dedication and devotion across India, mainly in the states of Punjab, Haryana and abroad.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469 A.D. in a Bedi Kshatriya family in the village of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi now known as Nanakan Sahib near Lahore in Pakistan. Guru Nanak ji is the first of the 10 Sikh gurus. Guru nanak was a great philosopher, a mystic and a poet too. He preached the message of the love, truth and peace throughout his life.
His Messages include :
- Kirat Karo - Earning a living honestly.
- Naam Japo - Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times .
- Vand ke Chhakho - Sharing with others, helping the needy.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated with pride, honor and great respect. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm in the whole of the country, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana and abroad.
The festivities for the day begin with early morning processions known as the 'prabhat pheri'; the procession starts at a local gurudwara and makes its way around the neighbourhood, chanting verses and singing hymns. Prabhat pheris are also held on the days prior to Gurunanak Jayanti; and for the three days too, there is a continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the akhand path, without a break.
The day of the festival
is marked by a special
procession in which
pride of place is
reserved for the Guru
Granth Sahib, carried on
a beautifully decorated
float and accompanied by
musicians and the panj
piaras (the five armed
head the procession carrying the Nishan Sahib (the Sikh flag). Prayers and kirtans, the singing of divine hymns or the devotional songs are done in the Gurudwaras and are followed by langar (the community meal), where all, irrespective of religious conviction, are welcome. The Langars or the kitchens run 24 hours a day to serve free food to the people. The Langars are called the "Guru Ka Langar" or the kitchen of the guru.
Houses and Gurdwaras are decorated and lit up to add to the festivities. In some places, sikhs do fireworks at night.
In Guru Nanak's birthplace Nankana, Pakistan, Guru Nanak Dev's birthday gurpurab is celebrated over several days with rainsabaee or all night kirtan and a nagar kirtan parade.