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Baisakhi: the Golden Temple decorated with colourful lights

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Baisakhi: the Golden Temple decorated with colourful lights

AMRITSAR: Baisakhi is not only a festival of spring harvest but has also great importance in the religious and cultural history of the region. From the fields to gurdwaras and cattle mandis to the bazaars of Amritsar, the festivity can be seen everywhere. The festival of Baisakhi holds special significance in Sikh history. The day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa.

The 10th Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib on Baisakhi in 1699. Therefore, the entire Sikh community celebrates the day as the day of birth of the Khalsa. The day is celebrated on the first day of the month of Vaisakh. Devotees from all over the world visit the Golden Temple on the day to take a dip in the holy sarovar. The ceremony of Amrit Sanchar (baptism) is also held at Akal Takht. The devotees also offer grain produced in their fields for langar. Religious functions are also held in gurdwaras. Politicians and social activists pay tribute to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh on Baisakhi.

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People in Punjab have been celebrating the festival for centuries. It is also celebrated to mark the ripening of the wheat crop. The farmers celebrate the day by gathering at some common place and perform bhangra in their traditional colourful attire.

A number of local Baisakhi festivities are held to celebrate the harvesting of wheat crop. A fair is organised on the outskirts of the city at Vallha village. The cattle and horse fair are the main attraction of Vallha Mela on Baisakhi. Horse and buffalo exhibitions are held at the fair. Trades from various areas of Punjab and neighbouring states visit the cattle fair.

City residents also remember the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre on Baisakhi day in 1919. Hundreds of common people gathered at the Bagh in Amritsar were shot by the British on that day. The locals also celebrate Baisakhi festival as Dastaar Diwas to keep the tradition of turban alive. Among food, jalebis are the main attraction and most people who visit the fair buy it for the family.


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