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~Happy Vaisakhi Pyareo~


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http://www.indiaprofile.com/fairs-festivals/baisakhi.htm

Baisakhi, also called Vaisakhi, is a harvest festival which is celebrated on the thirteenth of April according to the solar calendar. It is celebrated in North India, particularly in Punjab, when the rabi crop is ready for harvesting. This tough agricultural operation is rendered into a lighter occupation by merry community festivities such as the Bhangra dance by men, who pound the ground with vigorous steps accompanied with singing. Women too, break into a revelry of dances principally the Gidda dance, executed with fervour and rhythmic exactitude. On these occasions, men and women adorn themselves with gay coloured clothes and traditional jewellery. Generally, the sites of these festivities are on the banks of the rivers which have their sacred import with myths and legends woven around their origin and names.

Baisakhi has a special meaning for the Sikhs. On this day in 1699, their tenth Guru Gobind Singh organized the order of the Khalsa. On this day also, Guru Arjan Das was martyred by the Muslim rulers who, in barbaric cruelty, threw him alive into a cauldron of boiling oil. Again, on this day in 1875, Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj—a reformed sect of Hindus who are devoted to the Vedas for spiritual guidance and have discarded idol worship. This day is once again of immense religious import to the Buddhists because Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment and Nirvana on this auspicious day.

Baisakhi day is observed as the Naba Barsha (New Year) in Bengal. On 14th April, the people take a ritual bath in the River Ganga or any other river or a nearby tank and bedeck their houses with rangoli (floral patterns) drawn on the entrance floor of their homes with a paste made of rice powder.

Baishakhi festival is celebrated twice a year in Himachal Pradesh in honour of Goddess Jwalamukhi. This happens in the months of Vaishakha (April-May) and Kartika (November). A temple near the hot springs is dedicated to the Goddess. Her image is so fabricated that a jet of flames issues forth from the mouth of the deity. This flame is held sacred and is worshipped. The neighbouring hot springs are a popular place for a holy dip by thousands of pilgrims on the days when the fairs are held.

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