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 Festival Of Gurupurab 

Guru Nanak Jayanti and Guru Parab

For Sikhs, there is no greater occasion of joy than the full moon day around October-November when Guru Nanak was born, and Guru Parab, the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh. It is a day when they rededicate themselves to unity, brotherhood and equality among all human beings. To symbolize these principles, the festival highlights a community kitchen called the Guru ka Langhar. From this free kitchen, food is served to devotees of all castes and creeds provided they sit together and eat the same food. The meal is simple and compact. After the singing of hymns and the veneration of the Guru Granth Sahib, Karah Parshad is served.

Guru Purab

The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev - the first or the founder guru of the Sikhs, is celebrated with great fervour on the full moon day of Kartika. Guru Parab, also known as Jyototsava is one of the most sacred festivals of the Sikhs.

At Nankana Sahib (the birth place of Guru Nanak now in Lahore), there is a beautiful Gurudwara, and a holy tank or sarovar. On Guru Parab, a grand fair and festival is held here, and Sikhs in thousand congregate here from India and abroad.

Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Scripture, is continuously read and recited in the Gurudwaras ('Akhand path') all over the country, lamps are lighted, processions are taken out, free langars (meals) are arranged and prasad (holy food) is distributed. Pandals are set up in various places and 'prasad' is distributed. Guru Purab celebrations at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab is impressive.


Also known as ' Guru Nanak Jayanti ', it is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak who founded the Sikh faith. For two days and nights preceding the festival, the 'Granth Sahib' (Holy Book) is read and on the day of the festival, taken out in a grand procession. Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in the month of Kartik (October / November) and his birthday is known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. He was born in 1469 A.D. at Tolevandi some 30 miles from Lahore. The anniversaries of Sikh Guru's are known as Gurpurabs and are celebrated with devotion and dedication.

Teachings Of Guru Nanak  

He was not only the founder of the Sikh religion, he was a great poet, philosopher, humanist and a powerful social reformer, a teacher of mankind. Nanak said that one need not become a sanyasi sacrificing one's family, to please God. Those who practice devotion, whose mind is pure and who have sympathy, patience and honesty, are in no way inferior to a sanyasi. He considered that all human beings were highborn; no one was low.

He stressed, "Do not ask someone's caste; those whose devotion is accepted by God are good people. God appreciates those who have conquered the 'I' and 'greed'. Nanak washes the feet of those who concentrate their minds on God, the source of truth".

The akhand path or the continuous reading of Granth Saheb, the sacred book of the Sikhs, begins three days before Guru Nanak Jayanti. The sacred scripture is read non-stop from beginning to end. The Akhand Path culminates on the day of the Guru Purab and the holy book is then taken out in a procession. It is beautifully decorated with flowers and carried on a float. Children participate in the procession and march to the tune of local band playing religious hymns. Five armed guards who are called the panj pyare lead the procession. At the head of the procession is the Nishan Saheb or the Sikh flag.

Prabhat Pheri
A few days before Guru Purab, people take out Prabhat Pheris or the early morning processions from the Gurdwaras. They go around their locality singing shabd or the religious hymns.

Later in the day, special kirtans are arranged in the Gurdwaras. The devotees attend langar or the common meals where everyone eats the same food irrespective of caste, class, or creed. Devotees offer their services for cooking food, cleaning the Gurdwara or carrying out other chores. This is called the Kar Seva.

In the evening, the Gurdwaras are illuminated and people visit them in large numbers. People also illuminate their homes with candles and earthen lamps.


  • 5 cups rava or coarsely ground wheat flour or mixture of both
  • 5 cups ghee
  • 5 cups sugar
 Heat ghee and add the rava or the flour. Fry, stirring constantly, till golden brown. Add sugar a little at a time and continue cooking till ghee separates and the sugar is blended. Serve warm


 Serves 8
  • 2 cups whole black gram (urad) soaked in water for 6 hours
  • 2 tsps. Cumin seeds
  • 2 tsps. turmeric powder
  • 2 tsps. garam masala
  • 4 onions, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsps. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup ghee
  • salt to taste
 Put all the ingredients (with 5 cups water) except ghee in a pressure cooker and cook till soft and blended. Pour hot ghee and serve with hot Tandoori rotis or chapattis.



Serves 8

  • 1 cup Cauliflower, cut into large pieces
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 3 onions, chopped fine
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder ½ tsp. cummin seeds
  • 2 tbsps. Coriander leaves, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup oil
  • Salt to taste
 Heat oil and fry cumin seeds and onion till golden. Add ginger, garlic, tomatoes and cook till blended. Add cauliflower, peas and a little water. Add turmeric, garam masala, salt and cook covered on a slow fire till vegetables are done. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.





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