Guru Nanak Jayanti 2020: Gurpurab
The holiest festival of Sikhism
A prominent festival for Sikhs, Guru Nanak Jayanti, falls on November 30th this year. This day marks the birth anniversary of the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak Dev ji. This festival is also known as Gurpurab or Prakash Utsav. It is known to be one of the most sacred festivals of Sikhs. As per the Hindu Calendar, it is celebrated on Kartik Purnima, which falls on the fifteenth day of Kartik Month.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji is considered a spiritual teacher who founded Sikhism in the 15th century. He started writing the Guru Granth Sahib and out of which 947 hymns were written by him. The Guru Granth Sahib is a sacred book that includes all his teachings and preaching. It is believed that his birth is the mark of divinity. Any traditions that included sacrifice were discouraged by him. This festival is a celebration of his life, achievements and his legacy.
Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated with a lot of devotion by the Sikhs. The celebration begins a few days prior to the Kartik Purnima:
- Akhand Path: Akhand Path is a forty-eight hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib. It is the holy book of the Sikhs. This is held at Gurudwaras, the worship place of the Sikhs, two days prior to Guru Nanak Jayanti.
- Nagarkirtan: Nagarkirtan is a procession held one day prior to the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev ji. It is organized and led by the Panj Pyaras. The Sikh Flag known as Nishan Sahib and the Palki of Guru Granth Sahib is carried.
- Gurupurab Day: Morning hymns welcome the day followed by Kathas (stories) and Kirtans(songs). Devotees praise the Guru through their prayers. In the Afternoon, a special Lunch called Langar is organized at Gurudwaras. A session of special prayers is held at the night to end this day.