Baisakhi is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th of April (or sometimes 14th) which is one of the main festivals of Sikhs and Hindus although the reason for this celebration varies somewhat for these two communities. It is further explained here how this day is observed and celebrated by people related to Hindu and Sikhism.
Vaisakhi is said to be the first day of the traditional solar New Year. On this day people of the Hindu community go to temples celebrating their New Year, praying, meeting and sending good wishes to their friends and relatives, eating good food and wearing new clothes.
During this time the harvest is completed and farmers across the country celebrate harvesting on this day. Baisakhi is known by different names in different parts of India although the way it is celebrated is almost identical. These festivals are known by different names in various Indian states:
Baisakhi, like Hinduism, signifies the beginning of the New Year in Sikhism and is also a day to celebrate.
Apart from this, Baisakhi is also celebrated as crop harvesting in Punjab because spring crop grows during this time in Punjab region. The farmers show gratitude to God for the crop and also pray for profusion in the future.
The day is also special for Sikhs because this day was seen as the beginning of the Sikh order following the persecution and death of Guru Teg Bahadur who refused to accept Islam as per the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. This led to the accession of the 10th Sikh Guru and the Khalsa Panth. Both these incidents happened on Baisakhi Day. This day is celebrated every year to remember the formation of the Khalsa Panth.
Baisakhi is celebrated in the country mainly in Punjab with big enthusiasm where people take out processions, burn firecrackers, held dinner for their close ones and get pleasure from the whole day.
There are many Sikhs in Canada and they celebrate Baisakhi festival with great enthusiasm. It is one of the main festivals for them. Nagar Kirtan is organized on this day and a large number of people take part in it. In the year 2017, more than 300,000 people gathered in the entire city of Canada in the region of British Columbia to celebrate Baisakhi. This number was recorded as 3,50,000 people in 2018 and 4,00,000 in 2019.
Manhattan and Los Angeles are 2 cities in the US where the festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with big pomp. The people of Sikh community in Manhattan feed free Langar on this day and contribute to various works to improve the society. Kirtan is organized in Los Angeles and a procession is taken out to celebrate this festival.
There is also a large Sikh community in the United Kingdom. The West Midlands and London are known for the largest number of Sikhs in Britain. Kirtans, a town held in Southall, draw abundances of people from several regions of the United Kingdom. It is held with coordination of Birmingham City Council. The city kirtans start from Gurdwaras in the city and end at the Baisakhi celebration held at Handsworth Park.
The festival of Baisakhi is celebrated by people of Sikh community living in different parts of the world. Indians are recognized for their friendly manners and celebrating Baisakhi in different parts of the country. For this reason, the locals are attracted and participate in the festival of Baisakhi with equal enthusiasm.