"Baisakhi", as soon as we hear this name a slideshow starts in our mind. A slideshow of Green and Lavish farms of Punjab, Well build Punjabi men in Turban and Beautiful Punjabi women in Patiala suits dancing on popular Bhangra and joyful Gidda also Mesmerising and well-lit Gurudwaras. Isn't it true! Baisakhi festival in one of the most popular festivals for Sikh as well as for the Hindu fraternity and is renowned globally and celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April every year.

History & Significance of Baisakhi

The history of Baisakhi has a remarkable significance due to peculiar events happened on this day in the past. In Sikhism, the inception of Baisakhi was marked in the year 1699 Guru Gobind Singh's father was killed by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, as he denied to accept Islam. Following this event, Guru Gobind Singh came forward and requested youngster to raise their voices and fight against Mughal reign. Due to the constant efforts of Guru Gobind Singh, five men came forward for the cause. Guru along with them dressed in Saffron clothes and they were then known as "Panj Pyaras". They lead to the inception of "Panth Khalsa" (Order of the Pure Ones). This day is also well-known as "Khalsa Sajna Divas". Later on from 2003, the Sikh Gurudwara Committee named it Vaisakhi/Baisakhi, according to its new Nanakshahi Calender.

In Hinduism Vaishakhi, derived from the name of the month "Vaishakh", is celebrated as an archaic festival of the commencement of a Solar New Year and is also celebrated as a Spring Harvesting season or Rabi Ripening and Harvesting season. It is a very significant day for farmers who honors God and thanks to Him for the abundant harvest, future fortune, and wealthiness. People come together to harvest and dance on the rhythm of Drumbeats and traditional Bhangra dance. The same day in history has the story of the unmerciful killing of virtuous people by British officers known as "Jallianwala Bagh Massacre".

Baisakhi Preparations and Celebration

By now the crop has been harvested and ready to sell. People are full of fervour and passion on this day. Roads are cleaned and well illuminated, people take a dip in the river early morning and dressed in new clothes, various delicacies are being prepared, Gurudwaras are beautifully decorated and fairs are held. They pray to God, greet each other, visits each other's place, enjoy the snacks and sweets, dance and rejoice the day. This festival is celebrated by the people of Punjab and North India also.

Several processions are held on this day in the city by the Sikh communities. These processions are led by 5 men (Khalsa) dressed in Saffron clothes as "Panj Pyaares" and they led the procession through the streets in the city singing songs, making music and reciting hymns of Sikh preachings. They also carry Guru Granth Sahib (Holy book of Sikhs) during the processions to venerate their Guru. Many cities like Jammu city, Kathua, many cities of Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh organizes Baisakhi fairs or melas at different places.

Baisakhi Foods and Traditional feasts.

Baisakhi is a festival celebrated by Punjabis and Sikhs. As we know Punjabis are fond of food and thus this festival too is celebrated by preparing various traditional North Indian Punjabi delicacies. As we all know that people all around the world are fond of "Punjabi Food". Yes the famous Chhole Bhature, Makke Ki Roti Sarso Ka Saag, Punjabi kadhi pakora, etc. And yes the spicy and delicious non-vegetarian dishes which include Punjabi Chicken And Mutton dishes like Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken Curry, Chicken tikka, Chicken tandoori, etc. Also last but not the least the famous "Punjabi Lassi", which is not possible to complete by a Non-native North Indian. All these delicacies are finally backed by deserts like Coconut laddus, Gur ka halwa (Jaggery halwa), Kheer, etc. People organize huge gatherings of family, natives, relatives, and friends. They have food, play games, dance on the drum beats, Bhangra and Gidda and enjoy the event.

Baisakhi celebrations in different parts of India

Baisakhi is celebrated in many other states with different names but with same significance and sacredness.

State wise Name of Baisakhi

State Name
Assam Rongali Bihu
West Bengal Naba Barsha
Bihar Vaishakha
Kerala Vishu
Tamilnadu Puthandu

Rongali Bihu in Assam

Assam, the state famous for its beautiful agricultural fields celebrates Baisakhi as Rongali Bihu as one of the major agricultural events, which marks the inception of agricultural New Year. Assamese peoples celebrate Rongali Bihu similarly to Baisakhi in Punjab. They have bathed in sacred rivers, dress up in their traditional attires (Gamsa, Dhoti, and Saadar Mekhela), perform traditional rituals, go to the temple, sings folk Bihu songs, meet and greet each other and also have grand feasts and joyous gatherings.

Naba Barsha in West Bengal

West Bengal known for its beautiful and historical architectural heritage, celebrates the Baisakhi festival as Naba Barsha with lots of excitement and joy and they call it Poila Baisakh. They celebrate this festival by wishing each other "Shubha Nababarsha" which means Happy New Year, dressed in traditional Bengali dress, worship to Lord Ganesha, enjoy traditional feasts, organize cultural gatherings and visits colorful fairs, which boosts up the ambiance. This day is very significant for Business. On this day they wind up all the old accounts and open New Cashbook (Hal Khata).

Vaishakha in Bihar

Bihar celebrates Baisakhi twice a year, first in April (Vaishakha) and second in November (Kartika) with lots of enjoyment and excitement. This festival is mainly celebrated in the small village of Bihar named Surajpur-Baragaon. People of this village celebrate the festival with ancient sacraments. They take bath in the Village Lake, offer flowers and worships to God. Villagers worship the God Sun and have a very famous temple in the village near the lake. They also perform Chhat Pooja on this day.

Vishu in Kerala

Kerala celebrates Pooram Vishu festival on the 13th / 14th of April as it comes on the initial day of the year according to Malayalese Calender. This festival has its importance and has significant tradition, i.e., Vishukani or Kani Kanal which means first sight. According to this tradition, people of Kerala believe that if good things are seen this morning brings good fortune in the upcoming year. Women of the house make preparations of the Vishukani on the previous night. They would arrange several auspicious things as per the tradition like Gold and Silver Jewellery, Betel leaves, Rice, Veggies, Flowers of Konna trees, Banana leaves and halved Coconut. Another amazing attribute of the festival is the Grand Sadya, a special feast prepared using jackfruits, mangoes, pumpkins, and gourd along with seasonal vegetables and fruits by the women of the house.

Young men and women of the village dress up as the 'Chozhi' by wearing a skirt of dried banana leaves and masks on their faces to entertain the villagers. They move from house to house, collect the reward for their performances and spent the gained money in Vishumela or the New Year Fairs.

Puthandu in Tamilnadu

Tamilnadu celebrates Puthandu, popularly known as Varusha Pirappu (birth of New year) on the 13th or 14th of April as it is the first day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. Puthandu is celebrated similarly to Vishu in Kerala. People are dressed up in traditional attire and start their day by Kanni which means auspicious sight.

Dates of Baisakhi or Vaisakhi or Vishu or Rongali Bihu or Sikh New Year

Year Date
2020 Monday, 13th of April
2021 Wednesday, 14th of April
2022 Thursday, 14th of April
2023 Friday, 14th of April
2024 Saturday, 13th of April