With plant poles wrapped in flags of god embroidered silk in front of their homes pots of brass copper or silver hanging on top, children wearing garlands of flowers and running through the streets singing it’s your clue to know that Baisakhi is here!
Vaisakhi also known as Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vasakhi) is a festival celebrated across the northern Indian subcontinent, especially in the Punjab region by the Sikh community.
For the Sikh community this festival commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa. It is also celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists for different reasons including the start of a new year. Vaisakhi is one of the important festivals celebrated with fun and fervor by people of other religions too.
Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa that is the Order of the Pure Ones on the Vaisakhi Day in the year 1699 thus the festival bears a great significance for the Sikhs. The farmers also observe it as the Thanksgiving Day by paying their tribute to God, thanking him for the abundant harvest and also praying for the future prosperity.
Hindus celebrate it as their new year with requisite bathing, partying, and worshipping. It’s believed that thousands of years ago, Goddess Ganga descended to earth and in her honor, many Hindus gather along the sacred Ganges River for ritual baths. Holy cities along the Ganges in north India, or in Srinagar’s Mughal Gardens, Jammu’s Nagbani Temples–, or anywhere in Tamil Nadu are totally action-packed during this time. Hindus too plant poles (wrapped in flags of gold-embroidered silk) in front of their homes, and hang pots of brass, copper or silver on top.
In Kerala, there are arrangements of flowers, grains, fruits; cloth, gold, and money are viewed early in the morning, to ensure a year of prosperity and the festival is called ‘Vishu’. It includes fireworks, shopping for new clothes and interesting displays called ‘Vishu Kani’. In Assam, the festival is called Bohag Bihu, and the community organizes massive feasts, music, and dancing.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj on Vaisakhi, in 1875.
Apart from the Sikhs and Hindus, Vaisakhi is an important day for the Buddhists as well. The name is Vesakha, Vaisakha, Vesak or Wesak. It commemorates the Birth, the Awakening and the Enlightened Passing Away of Buddha Gautama who was born as prince Siddharta.
The Festival of Baishakhi is also celebrated as-
• Rongali Bihu in Assam,
• Naba Barsha or Pohela Boishakh in Bengal and Tripura
• Vishu in Kerala
• Tamil Puthandu in Tamil Nadu
• Bikhu or Bikhauti in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand
• Maha Vishuva Sankranti (or Pana Sankranti) in Odisha
• Sinhalese New Year festival in Sri Lanka.
• Navreh – The new year day in Kashmir
On the same day JurShital (New Year) is celebrated in Mithila (portions in Bihar and Nepal).
• Bisu – The new year day among Tuluvas
May you have a prosperous Baisakhi or by whichever name the celebration goes in your region!
For more, consult a pandit at http://www.shubhpuja.com today and get closer to god and prosperity.