Sikh Culture And Festivals
Celebrating Sikhs festivals
While more than 90% of the Sikhs live in their original land of Punjab, there are approximately 23 million Sikhs. 90% of the Sikhs contribute to 65 % of the total population living in Punjab. Through other statistics, only 2% of the Sikhs contribute to the population of India. While many of the Sikhs have started migrating to Canada, UK, the middle east, and more.
There also exist other Sikhs groups that do not abide by the protocols of Sikh community. While some with similar beliefs and faith may consider themselves of Sikh's domain, but they are not part of Sikhism. Groups like Nihangs have little difference in their beliefs and faith but follow Sikhism only.
All the festivals of the Sikhs involve the lives of their Guru and their martyr. According to the Shri Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), all the celebrations are based upon the Nanakshahi calendar. While this calendar is not abided by all and hence most of the Sikhs festivals like hola mohalla, Diwali, and Guru Nanak Ji's birthday are kept according to the Hindu calendar.
Other Punjabi culture and festivals include
There is a big list of Punjabi culture and festivals which lays its roots in Sikh religion.
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanthi- Among all the Punjabi culture and festivals, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanthi is considered an important one. On this day the birth of Guru Gobind Singh Ji took place and hence in the remembrance of the birth of such an inspiring personality, this day is celebrated.
Lohri: Lohri is a harvest festival and is mostly a Punjab festival for farmers. But Sikhs being a large part of these farmer's tribes, the festival comes out to be more like a Sikh festival. Also, Lohri was celebrated on the birth of a baby boy in a family but Sikhs Guru’s strongly opposed this tradition and hence celebrated Lohri on the birth of a girl as well.
Maghi – this festival commemorates the martyrdom of 40 immortals that followed Guru Gobind Singh. These 40 followers had initially deserted but lately fought bravely with the army of the Mughal empire. But unfortunately, these followers died at Muktsar and Guru Gobind Singh ji blessed them with liberation. Sikhs on this day visit Gurudwaras and do Kirtan(hymns) whereas in Muktsar a special fair is organized
Hola/mohalla- in Punjab particularly this festival is celebrated in Anandpur sahib. While Holi is a Hindu festival Sikhs celebrate it as an occasion to present their martial arts.
Vaisakhi – Vaisakhi festival denotes the beginning of harvest season in India. Sikhs also celebrate it as Khalsa was initiated on this day by Guru Gobind Singh ji. On this day all the Gurudwaras are decorated with yellow flowers.
Martyrdom- The martyrdom of Guru Arjan dev sahib Ji is marked on this day according to the Nanakshahi calendar.
Prakash Diwas –On this day Guru Granth sahib ji was instituted.
Diwali/Bandi chod Diwas – On this day the Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Singh Ji was released from Gwalior fort along with 52 others.
Guru Nanak Ji’s Jayanthi- Considered the most precious among all the Punjabi culture and festival this day is celebrated to mark the birth of Guru Nanak Dev ji
Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib- On this day Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was martyred for not converting into Islam