Vaisakhi (ਵਿਸਾਖੀ) in Punjab
Vaisakhi or Baisakhi, a seasonal festival in the Punjab which takes place on the first day of the solar month of
Baisakh. Traditionally, the festival was celebrated as the harbinger of happiness and plenty being closely connected with harvesting.
As some Sikh texts record, Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Ji (1469-1539) was born during the month of
Baisakh. According to Sarup Das Bhalla, Mahima Prakash, Part 2, Guru Amar Das Ji (1479-1574), at the suggestion of Sikhs led by Bhai
Paro, started an annual congregational fair at Goindval on the occasion of Baisakhi.
It became customary for distant sangats of Sikhs to assemble at the seat of the Gurus on every Baisakhi (and
Divali) day. With the inauguration by Guru Gobind Singh Ji of the Khalsa on 1 Baisakh 1756 Bk, Baisakhi became an important festival on the Sikh calendar. The date then corresponded with 30 March
1699, but owing to the adoption of Gregorian calendar by the British in 1752 and the difference between the Christian and the Bikrami years since then, Baisakhi now usually falls on 14 and sometimes on 13 April.
The Sikhs everywhere celebrate Baisakhi enthusiastically as birthday anniversary of the Khalsa.
The Sikhs everywhere celebrate Baisakhi enthusiastically as birthday anniversary of the
Khalsa. Akhand patths are recited followed by kirtan and ardas in almost every gurdwara. Community meals form part of the celebrations. At bigger centres congregational fairs,
amrit-prachar, i. e. initiation ceremonies for inducting novitiates into the Khalsa fold, and contests in manly sports are held.
Until the partition of the Punjab in 1947, the largest attended Baisakhi fairs were those of Panja Sahib and Eminabad, in Gujranwala (now both in Pakistan). The most important venues now are the Sri Darbar Sahib,
Amritsar, Takht Damdama Sahib at Talvandi Sabo, in Bathinda district, and Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, in Ropar district, all in the Punjab.
It was at Kesgarh Fort that conversion of Sikhs into the Khalsa through the administration of khande di pahul, or baptism of the double-edged sword, first took place on the Baisakhi day of 1699.(Sikh Encyclopedia)
To mark the celebrations, devotees, irrespective of Sikh religion, throng at gurdwara the Sikh place of worship. The main celebration takes place at Talwandi
Sabo (where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nine months and completed the recompilation of the Guru Granth Sahib), and in the Gurdwara at Anandpur Sahib, the birth place of Khalsa and at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.