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Festivals - BAISAKHI
 

BAISAKHI, LIKE LOHRI, IS AGAIN A FESTIVAL OF NORTH INDIA and a very prominent one for Punjab. This festival is also agriculture-based, celebrated with gusto and gaiety by the hardly and hardworking farmers of Punjab after the harvest.Baisakhi always falls on 14 April and marks the beginning of the solar year.

and a very prominent one for Punjab. This festival is also agriculture-based, celebrated with gusto and gaiety by the hardly and hardworking farmers of Punjab after the harvest.Baisakhi always falls on 13 or 14 April and marks the beginning of the solar year.

The day is considered very auspicious and big melas (fairs) of cows and buffaloes are organized in the village grounds, where many financial transactions take place. Also, fun melas enliven the landscape in every town and village. Here the old and the young in colourful clothes and turbans come to enjoy the mela. The giant wheels and the merry-go-rounds (set up in virtually no time since they are portable and every village has hand-manoeuvred contraptions) provide great entertainment and joy. Eating is the order of the day, and chaat, ice-cream, flossy sugar lollipops and other delicacies are in great demand. Balloons and all varieties of wooden and clay toys are displayed for sale. People take other household or daily requirement articles like pots and pans to sell and buy and the hustle and bustle attracts almost everyone to the fair.

Sometimes, a new-born baby is taken to the temple or Gurdwara and the first drink of water is given to it with a rose petal. (Of course, if the baby is a few days old, one is not supposed to deny water to a baby for long.)
For the Sikhs, Baisakhi represents a very sanctified day. It is on this day that Guru Gobind Singh initiated the 'Panch Piyara' (the five loved ones). He decorated the Khalsa

 

Every household teaches its children to give thaan on Baisakhi day which is the first day of the solar calendar, so that throughtout the year the feeling of charity remains in the heart.
Baisakhi involves a lot of socialsing. Friends and relative are invited for dinner or lunch. Hard drinks and meat are allowed to be served and people really enjoy themselves at home. There is no puja to be performed at home, except of course the necessary cleaning up that should be done during all festivals. Lots of fruit like ber and lookat, and mithai are sent to the houses of the daughters as gifts for the entire family, as the father and brother would have earned a lot of money and must share it with their daughters and sisters. The whole community celebrates baisakhi together but, at home, Baisakhi must also become a festive occasion with everyone sharing in the giving ang taking. Visitors are welcomed, and offered lassi and mithai, and also other foodstuffs. On the whole, the festivals leads to contentment and offers bright hopes for the future

 
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