The Auspicious date April 14th --- Baisakhi is not just another day for 'Green India'New Year is the most important occasion for anyone. It's the time when a new calendar year begins with the counting of increments, hopes and desires. It is the occasion that brings joy, expectations, excitement,
New Year is the most important occasion for anyone. It's the time when a new calendar year begins with the counting of increments, hopes and desires. It is the occasion that brings joy, expectations, excitement, and many more dreams and aspirations which are yet to be fulfilled.
Similarly, Baisakhi (also known as Vaisakhi or Vasakhi) which falls on April 13 every year and on April 14 once every 36 years (like today) is also a new year to some of us, especially the Punjabis.
It's also called a harvest festival of Punjab in North India, which marks the arrival of harvesting of the winter crops. On this day the harvesting of ‘rabi' or the winter crops starts. Farmers also call it Thanksgiving Day.
Sikhs visit ‘Gurudwaras' (Sikh temples) to offer prayers and to be thankful to the ‘Wahe Guru'- the almighty for the bountiful harvest being produced. Customary charities too are done merrily by the Sikhs on this auspicious day.
On this day, men dress themselves in the traditional Kurta and Lungi with Pagri (Headgear) and the women are seen in colorful salwar kameez or lehenga, which is followed by traditional dances like the Bhangra ( done by men) and Gidda ( done by women) on the beat of ‘dhol'(a sort of drum).
In the evening, greetings are exchanged with friends, colleagues, neighbours, near and dear ones along with lavish cuisine.
For Sikhs it's important as it holds religious significance - celebrated as the birth of the Khalsa Panth.
Hindus in Punjab call it a ‘New Year day'. It is believed that thousands of years back Goddess Ganga came down from the heavens on earth. To celebrate this day, Hindus take a bath in the Ganges River in North India and offer their prayers.
Let's also know what else falls today and who celebrates it:
In Kerala, it's celebrated as the day of “Vishu".
In Assam, it's celebrated as Rongila Bihu .
In Bengal it's celebrated as Naba Barsha.
In Bihar it's celebrated as Vishakha - to honor the Sun God.
In Himachal Pradesh people celebrate this day by taking a holy dip and by visiting the temple of Goddess Jwalamukhi.
Tamil/ Malayali celebrate it as their New Year (it sometimes also falls on 15th April)
Nepal celebrates this day as Nepali New Year (also known as Baisakh; beginning of first Nepali month).
Sri Lanka too celebrates it as its New Year festival.
Buddhists celebrate it as Gautam Buddha attained nirvana or enlightenment day.
Arya Samaj - a Hindu reformist movement - was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Interestingly, it is also Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's 124th Birth Anniversary.