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Vaisakhi – The Celebration of the Hindu Festival and New Year


Vaisakhi, also called as Baisakhi, Vaishakhi or Vasakhi is a religious festival celebrated throughout Nepal and India. The celebration and practice of this very festival vary from place to place. It is not just celebrated in the Hindu religion but also in Sikhism, where it marks the birth of Khalsa way of living and a spring harvest festival.

In Hindu dharma, it is believed that thousands of years ago, Goddess Ganga descended to Earth to rid humanity of all their sins. Hindus mark this day by the by taking a dip in the Holy waters of the Ganga by offering flowers. Rivers like Ganga, Kaveri, and Jhelum are crowded with devotees during this time.

River Ganga
River Ganga Haridwar – Photo by Sachin Panchal on 500px.com

The celebration of this festival varies throughout India. Around, North India, it is a festival signifying the harvest. People buy each other gifts to mark this harvest festival. In the Himachal Pradesh state, it is celebrated as a way of worshiping the Goddess Jwalamukhi which is a symbol of fire or heat and in Bihar, it is revered by worshiping Surya (the Sun God). In Bengal, Vaisakhi is marked as the beginning of the New Year as it is celebrated on 13 or 14 April i.e. the first day of Baisakh month (Bikram Sambat Hindu Calendar) every year. It is considered as a solar new year. People make rangolis or floral patterns on the entrance of their homes to mark this occasion. In the South of India; it is also celebrated as the New Year. It is celebrated by holding Pooram festivals, where processions occur to honor Lord Vishnu. In Assam, it is celebrated as Rangali Bihu (colors) signifying the time of harvest. They organize massive feasts, music, and dancing.

This is also a very important festival for farmers of the agriculturally rich states like Haryana and Punjab. The farmers dress in new clothes, visit temples and gurdwaras to express gratefulness to God for the good harvest and seek blessings for ensuring agriculture season. Farmers also celebrate Vaisakhi by carrying out energetic bhangra and gidda dance and participating in Vaisakhi Fairs. Vaisakhi is known as one of the greatest, colorful and the loudest festival celebrated by the South Asian community. It is also said as the thanksgiving festival of the Indian farmers. This is also the day when the sun makes its entry into the Mesh Rashi. Hence it is also termed as Mesha Sankranti.

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Places Where Vaisakhi Is Celebrated

vaishakhi

Nepal

In Nepal, Baisakhi is celebrated as a New Year. Nepal follows Bikram Sambat Calendar as an official calendar all over the country. Bikram Sambat starts in Vaisakhi of every year, hence Vaishaki is celebrated as a new year in this beautiful Himalayan Country.

Chandigarh

You can see people in Chandigarh with their colorful outfits and sparkling faces.
Traditional foods are prepared in every house. The music and dance will give you a fresh air of Vaisakhi in Chandigarh. Moreover, it is not less than combination of Holi and Diwali.

Haryana

Every year in Haryana, magnificent Mela of Vaisakhi is arranged. Authenticated Punjabi food and range of handloom and handicraft shops are the key attraction during the festival. Iconic colorful attire and astounding music and dance is the main attraction of the place in Vaisakhi.

Amritsar

The areas around the Gurudwara seems to be the major attraction in Vaisakhi as it is very colorful in this day. People host parties where they dance and eat together. A special lunch is shared to the temple visitors which is called Langar. Langar is considered as holy lunch.

Jalandhar

As this festival marks the beginning of the harvesting season; it is celebrated greatly in the crop fields. The people gather and take part in activities like shopping, food, dance, and music. Men perform Punjabi folk dance called Bhangra while women perform Gidda. This place is the visual treat for you in Vaisakhi.

Delhi

The capital of India has a huge number of Sikh and Punjabi community. This city comes alive as people dress in their traditional attire and have dinner parties where they eat traditional food and rejoice.