Baisakhi: Celebrating the harvest season and birth of Khalsa : The Tribune India

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Baisakhi: Celebrating the harvest season and birth of Khalsa

Baisakhi: Celebrating the harvest season and birth of Khalsa


This Baisakhi, Tribune Correspondent Manmeet Singh Gill and lensman Vishal Kumar took a round of the city and nearby villages to bring to you the joyful celebrations on this auspicious day marking the harvesting season...

For Punjabis, Baisakhi — colloquially known as Vaisakhi — is not merely an annual wheat-harvesting festival, but over the centuries, it has acquired far wider religious and political connotations.

Here, two big events on Baisakhi need special mention — first, the 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh had formed the Khalsa on this day in 1699; and secondly, hundreds of people who had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh were massacred in the indiscriminate firing by the British troops.

A folklore couplet

Datri nu lvade gungru, harhi wadugi barabar tere” (attach the musical bells to my sickle and I will compete you in harvesting the Rabi crop). Not long ago, the wives used to help husbands during the harvest season and the famous couplet describes a wife’s demand from her husband before the harvest season.

Both events had far wider implications on the political history of the region. If the first event enabled the peasantry to fight against the Mughal empire under the leadership of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the second forced Punjabis, especially Sikhs, to fight against the British and within less than next three decades, a strong freedom movement in the region earned country its freedom.

Devotees light candles at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on the occasion of Baisakhi.

For Punjabis, Baisakhi is a mix of several emotions — joy, devotion, sacrifice and hope and it is this hope that fills most with joy. Joyous celebrations on the day are no secret, as fairs are held in almost every town and big village, where people gather in large numbers and celebrate.

Amid all of this joy and celebrations, here is an environmental concern too! Not many decades ago, Baisakhi was a festival to celebrate the completion of harvesting. There is no bigger testimony than the famous poem ‘Vaisakhi’ by legendary poet Dhani Ram Chatrik. In this poem, which has acquired the status of folklore, Chatrik depicted how farmers celebrated the festival after harvesting the wheat crop.

Old vs New: Tools displayed at an exhibition at a local college. Though the harvesting has become mechanised, old tools are a testimony to the hard work and strength of Punjabi farmers.

However, in the present times, with change in climatic conditions, a large number of farmers, especially in Majha region, are still waiting for their crop to ripe.

Faith calling: For the faithful, the Baisakhi doesn’t begin until they take a dip in the holy sarovar at the Darbar Sahib. A large numbers of devotees turn up at the Golden Temple early in the morning to take a dip on the holy occasion of Baisakhi.

Animal Fashion: Punjabis love decorating their animals with ‘haar’, ‘hammelan’ & ‘gungru’. A visitor selects a few accessories.

Horse Power: The pashu melas on Baisakhi are special, as these are meant for the sale and purchase of horses as well.

Celebrations abound: Bhangra and Giddha are a part of any celebration and why not on Baisakhi?

Khalsa AID organised an event near the Golden Temple to create awareness about turban on Baisakhi in Amritsar on Thursday.

Hard labour: A worker separates wheat from chaff at the local grain market.

All work and no play: An old farmer sews gunny bags full of wheat grains.

Quality Check: A procurement agent checks moisture content in wheat grains.

#baisakhi #banda singh bahadur #farmers #guru gobind singh #jallianwala bagh #khalsa #Sikhs


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