Baisakhi is a famous Hindu festival, which marks the beginning of a new solar year as per the Sikh calendar. Celebrated on April 13th every year, Baisakhi is also observed as the harvest festival. On this auspicious day, farmers in northern India start harvesting their crops and celebrate their happiness by praying and thanking God for the bountiful harvest.
Significance of Baisakhi
People believe that on this day River Ganges descended on the earth. That is why, they celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with great religious zeal in the honour of the River Ganges, by worshipping and taking ritual baths in the River.
On the other hand, for the Sikh population of Punjab, Baisakhi marks the foundation day of Khalsa Panth by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. He did so to eliminate the difference between high & low and to establish brotherhood among Sikh community.
Although the festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with great zest all over India, the special festivities are arranged in northern part of India, especially Punjab. People visit temples, such as Golden temple in Amritsar. The big processions or nagar kirtans are led by ‘Panj Pyaras’ in the honour of the holy book ‘Granth Sahib’. Baisakhi fairs are the major attractions of the festival. People spend their day in social gatherings, feasting and performing dance depicting the entire process of agriculture. This festival of prosperity known as ‘Vishu’ and ‘Bohag Bihu’ in Kerala & Assam is celebrated with equal pomp and show. It includes fireworks, shopping for new clothes, gold, grains and merrymaking. Similarly, in Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, the festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with lots of joy and enthusiasm.
Tips to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with your children at home
· Tell your children about the importance of the festival.
· Go shopping with your children a day prior to the festival to buy new clothes and gifts to make them realize that Baisakhi is as important festival as the other festivals.
· Encourage them to decorate the house for Baisakhi on the eve of the festival.
· Ask your children to take bath in the morning and wear new clothes to visit a Gurudwara to enjoy the celebrations and thank God for all His blessings.
· Participate with your children in the processions or nagar kirtans in your colony.
· Inspire them to offer services at Gurudwara such as distribution of prasad, cleaning gurudwara, managing shoes of visitors, helping people in langar etc.
· Encourage your children to prepare Baisakhi greeting cards for their friends.
· Invite your children’s friends at home and prepare a good meal for all.
· Explain to them about the ways, the festival of Baisakhi is celebrated at different places.
· Arrange for the videos of celebrations of the festival at different places all over India and watch it along with your children.
This way you can make the festival of Baisakhi more meaningful and help your children to participate in the global celebrations.
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