Guru Nanak Gurpurab (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀ ਗੁਰਪੁਰਬ (Gurmukhi)), also known as Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav (ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਉਤਸਵ), celebrates the birth of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak.[6] One of the most celebrated and important Sikh gurus and the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak is highly revered by the Sikh community. [7] This is one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism, or Sikhi.[8] The festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus. These Gurus were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhs. Their birthdays, known as Gurpurab, are occasions for celebration and prayer among the Sikhs.[9]

Nanak Gurpurab
ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਪੁਰਬ
Akal Takht illuminated on Guru Nanak's Birthday, in Harmandir Sahib complex, Amritsar.
Official nameGuru Nanak Gurpurab
Also calledParkash Purab Guru Nanak
Observed bySikhs, Nanakpanthi and many non-Sikhs
TypeReligious, cultural, international
SignificanceCommemoration of the nativity of Nanak
Celebrationsgift-giving, gurdwara services
DateKatak Puranmashi 1469
2023 date27 November[1]
Started byNanak

Background edit

The Birth of Guru Nanak, by the artist Sardul Singh in 1910.

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was born on Puranmashi of Kattak in 1469, according to the Vikram Samvat calendar[10] in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present Shekhupura District of Pakistan, now Nankana Sahib.[11] It is a Gazetted holiday in India.[12] The controversial Bhai Bala Janamsakhi claims Guru Nanak was born on the Full Moon (Pooranmashi) of the Indian Lunar Month Kartik.[13] The Sikhs have been celebrating Guru Nanak's Gurpurab around November for this reason and has it been ingrained in Sikh Traditions.[6][14]

However, some scholars and organizations believe the Birthday should be celebrated on Vaisakhi, which falls on 27 November according to the original[15] However, many people and organizations would like to keep the traditional date by celebrating on the Full Moon Day (Pooranmashi or Purnima) of the Lunar Month Kartik. The Nanakshahi Calendar follows the Gregorian calendar and celebrates it on Kartik Purnima. This is a mismatch between different time units. The problem with designing an accurate calendar is that the three natural units of time – the day, the month and the year – are based on different movements – the Earth's rotation about its axis, the Moon's revolution around the Earth and the Earth's revolution around the Sun. Their periods are not integer multiples of each other. The challenge in aligning solar and lunar calendars arises from the discrepancy in their respective durations. A solar year spans approximately 365.25 days, while a lunar month is around 29.53 days. The sum of twelve lunar months falls short of a solar year by 11 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes, and 12 seconds. Over three years, this discrepancy nearly equals one month. The Moon's orbit takes about 27.3 days, causing it to lag behind the Earth's orbit around the sun, resulting in a 10.87-day difference between a lunar year (354.372 days) and a solar year (365.2422 days).[16]

Significance edit

Guru Nanak preached that any person could connect to God by worshipping with clear conscience.[17] His teachings are included in Guru Granth Sahib.[18]

The festival edit

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, the birthplace of Guru Nanak

The celebration is generally similar for all Sikhs; only the hymns are different. The celebrations usually commence with Prabhat Pheris. Prabhat Pheris are early morning processions that begin at the Gurudwaras and proceed around the localities singing hymns. Generally, two days before the birthday, Akhand Path (a forty-eight-hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs) is held in the Gurdwaras.[19]

The day prior to the birthday, a procession, referred to as Nagarkirtan,[20] is organised. This procession is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones).[21][22] They head the procession carrying the Sikh flag, known as the Nishan Sahib and the Palki (Palanquin) of Guru Granth Sahib.[23] They are followed by teams of singers singing hymns[22] and devotees sing the chorus. There are brass bands playing different tunes and 'Gatka' teams display their swordsmanship through various martial arts and as mock battles using traditional weapons.[21][20] The procession pours into the streets of the town. The passage is covered with banners and gates are decorated flags and flowers, for this special occasion.[21][20] The leaders spreading the message of Guru Nanak.[21]

Guru Nanak Gurpurab 2010 at Pune, Maharashtra, India

On the day of the Gurpurab, the celebrations commence/begin early in the morning at about 4 to 5 a.m.[20][21] This time of the day is referred to as Amrit Vela. The day begins with the singing of Asaa-Ki-Vaar (morning hymns).[20][21] This is followed by any combination of Katha[20] (exposition of the scripture) and Kirtan (hymns from the Sikh scriptures), in the praise of the Guru.[21] Following that is the Langar, a special community lunch, which is arranged at the Gurudwaras by volunteers. The idea behind the free communal lunch is that everyone, irrespective of gender, caste, class or creed,[24] should be offered food in the spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion).

Night prayer sessions are also held in some Gurudwaras, which begin around sunset when Rehras (evening prayer) is recited, followed by Kirtan till late at night.[21] The congregation starts singing Gurbani at about 1:20 a.m., which is the actual time of birth of Guru Nanak. The celebrations culminate at around 2 a.m.[21] Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world and is one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. The celebrations are especially colorful in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh and many more locations like in parts of Pakistan and England. Even some Sindhis celebrate this festival.[25] Celebrating the auspicious day, the Punjab government has announced that it will install chairs dedicated to the great saint in 11 universities. The announcement was made on 11 November 2019.[26]

Public Holiday edit

Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated as public holiday in following places:

Country States/Provinces
India [27] Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "When is Guru Nanak Jayanti for the next 10 years (2022 to 2032) ?". 27 November 2023.
  2. ^ "Movable Holidays". Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Movable Holidays". Set year to 2020, and click "Get Dates". Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Movable Holidays". Set year to 2021, and click "Get Dates". Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  5. ^ "When is Guru Nanak Jayanti for the next 10 years (2022 to 2032) ?". 27 November 2023.
  6. ^ a b Singh Purewal, Pal. "Birth Date of Guru Nanak Sahib" (PDF). Purewal's Page. Pal Singh Purewal. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Happy Gurpurab 2020: Guru Nanak Jayanti Wishes Images, Status, Quotes, Wallpapers, Messages, Photos". The Indian Express. 30 November 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Guru Nanak Jayanti 2019: History, significance and traditions". Hindustan Times. 11 November 2019. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Guru Nanak Ji and Sikh 10 Gurus". Sikh legendaries. 3 May 2020. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  10. ^ Singh Purewal, Pal. "Vaisakhi Dates Range According To Indian Ephemeris By Swamikannu Pillai – i.e. English Date on 1 Vaisakh Bikrami" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Guru Nanak ji (1469–1539)". Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Guru Nanak Jayanti in India". Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  13. ^ Singh Mehboob, Harinder. As the Sun of Suns Rose: The Darkness of the Creeds Was Dispelled.
  14. ^ Singh Purewal, Pal. "Movable Dates of Gurpurbs" (PDF). Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Mool Nanakshai Calendar (MNC) Implementation Conference". SikhNet. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  16. ^ "The Indian Luni-Solar Calendar and the Concept of Adhik-Maas (Extra-Month)" (PDF). Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  17. ^ "Guru Nanak Jyanti- Guru Parab". Bolly Movie Review Tech. 8 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  18. ^ "Guru Nanak Jayanti 2021: When is Gurpurab? Date, significance, history and all you need to know". Hindustan Times. 17 November 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  19. ^ Rumi, Faryal (24 November 2020). "'Prabhat pheri' to set off from Patna Sahib gurdwara today". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  20. ^ a b c d e f "GURPURBS". Archived from the original on 1 June 2009.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i "What's your point?". Archived from the original on 22 September 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Guru Nanak". Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Gurpurab 2020 date: All you need to know about Guru Nanak Jayanti". The Times of India. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Guru Purab". Archived from the original on 24 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  25. ^ Satpathy, Kriti Saraswat (14 November 2016). "Guru Nanak Jayanti: Why and how Gurpurab is celebrated in India". India News, Breaking News, Entertainment News | Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Punjab government to install chair dedicated to Guru Nanak in 11 universities". Hindustan Times. 11 November 2019. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Guru Nanak Jayanti 2020, 2021 and 2022". Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.