on the 13th of April,
this day marks the beginning of the Hindu solar new year. It is
among the few Indian festivals that has a fixed date. In Kerala,
Baisakhi is called as "Vishu"
and in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as "Puthandu"
and in Assam, the festival is called Bohag
Bihu. Considered a holy
day, the devout celebrate the Baisakhi with a dip in the holy rivers just
around the break of dawn. Sweets are distributed, old enmities are
forgiven and life is full of joy, merriment and everyone seems to belong.
Baisakhi has special
significance for two of India's major religious groups.
it's the start of the new year, and is celebrated with requisite bathing,
partying and worshipping.
It's believed that the
goddess Ganga descended to earth thousands of years ago, and in her honor many
Hindus gather along the sacred Ganges River for ritual baths. The action is
centered in the holy cities along the Ganges in north India, or in Srinagar's
Mughal Gardens, Jammu's Nagbani Temple, or anywhere in Tamil Nadu. Hindus
plant poles wrapped in flags of god-embroidered silk in front of their homes,
and hang pots of brass, copper or silver on top. Children wear garlands of
flowers and run through the streets singing "May the new year come again
In Kerala the
festival is called Vishu,
and includes fireworks, shopping for new clothes and interesting displays
called Vishu Kani. These are arrangements of flowers, grains, fruits, cloth,
gold, and money are viewed early in the morning, to ensure a year of
In Assam, the
festival is called Bohag Bihu,
and the community organizes massive feasts, music, and dancing.
Sikh community it
is a special day of celebration as it was on the day of Baisakhi in
1669, that Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa Panth and gave a
final impetus to the course of the earlier nine Gurus of Sikhism.
their typical folk attire, both men and women, celebrate the day with
dance. These vigorous and vivacious dances tell the story of the
agricultural process, from tilling the soil through harvesting. As the
dholak (drum) changes beats, the dancing sequence progresses,
dramatizing plowing, sowing, weeding, reaping, and finally
Sikhs visit Gurudwaras,
such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where the holy Granth is read.
After the prayer, kada
(sweetened semolina) is served to the congregation. The function ends
the community lunch served by volunteers.