Baisakhi or Vaisakhi marks the beginning of the new spring year and the end of the harvest of rabi crop in India. The festival is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in agriculture dominated state of Punjab and Haryana. Here, farmers thank God for the bountiful harvest and pray for prosperity in the coming year. To celebrate the day, people wake up early and take a dip in the holy rivers
The auspicious festival of Baisakhi is celebrated on first day of Vaisakh month (April-May). Hence, the festival of Baisakhi is also popularly known as Vaisakhi. According to Gregorian Calendar, Baisakhi falls on April 13 every year and on April 14 once in 36 years.
The date of Baisakhi festival has tremendous significance in Sikhism. They celebrate the festival as the foundation of the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood) in 1699 under Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs. Sikhs all over the world celebrate the day with lot of enthusiasm and joy.Khalsa is the Sikh way of life. Khalsa were enjoined by Guru Gobind Singh to have faith in One God and consider all human beings equal. They were given the surname ‘Singh’ and were asked to wear 5Ks or emblems at all the time – kesh (unshorn hair and beard), kangha (a comb), kara (a steel bracelet), kachcha (cotton undergarment) and kirpan, a sword.
The date of Baisakhi also has major astrological significance as it marks the sun’s entry into Mesh Rashi. Some people therefore know Baisakhi as Mesha Sankranti.
The auspicious date of Baisakhi is also celebrated as ‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam, ‘Naba Barsha’ in Bengal, ‘Puthandu’ in Tamil Nadu, ‘Pooram Vishu’ in Kerala and ‘Vaishakha’ in Bihar.
LEARNING WITH TIMES
RABI CROP: The crops that are sown in the winter season are called Rabi crops. (also known as the “winter crop”) in India. Crops that are grown in the winter season, from November to April are wheat, barley, peas, gram and mustard.
GREGORIAN CALENDAR: The Gregorian calendar is the calendar in current use in the Western world, both as the civil and Christian ecclesiastical calendar. Instituted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, the calendar has 365 days with an extra day every four years (the leap year) except in years divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. Thus, the calendar year has an average length of 365.2422 days. The Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar , which had become 10 days out of synchrony with the solar cycle.