Why Do We Celebrate Guru nanak Jayanti?
Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the oldest festivals of the Sikh religion. It is celebrated on the birthday of the first Sikh guru after whom the festival is named. The day falls on the first full moon in the month of Kartik, which in the Gregorian calendar falls in the month of November. Since it is based on a lunar cycle, its exact date varies from year to year.
The festival is celebrated over a three day period, beginning 48 hours before the actual date. The day before the actual date there is a procession headed by the Sikh flag and followed by a chorus singing hymns to the tunes of a brass band. Teams of men participate in demonstrations of Gatka, a form of martial arts particular to Sikhs. People take to the streets proclaiming the good word of the Guru.
On the feast day, followers wake early in the morning to sing hymns and attend an exposition of the Sikh holy text. After this, Gurudwaras hold a Langar or community lunch. The reason they offer a free lunch is to demonstrate the spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion).
Sikh men have a tradition where they always carry around with them the 5 K’s. What are they and what is their significance?
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