The festival of Baisakhi which is considered as transition period of season, months and years was celebrated with the religious fervor and gaiety by people in the State as it festival of Hindus, Sikh and Buddhist in the Pan India. The Baisakhi festival named by different names across the Country marked the departure of spring season and Chetra Hindu Month and advent of Summer and Baisakh month of new Solar Years of Hindus and Sikh.
Like Punjab, Old Punjab areas of Himachal Pradesh celebrates this festival with religious fervor and gaiety. Hindu considers this festival auspicious as they start the harvesting of their Rabi crops with this festival and also offer the bounty to to their gods and goddess for preying for good harvest and prosperity. People also offer water pots for the sparrows and decorates their homes with the longs flower ropes made of local species of Rhododendron and Kusha grass.
Women wore green and yellow clothes to celebrates the occasion and take early both this morning before they perform Pooja and prepare the local delicacies. The season was also marked by the migration of water fowls to their summer harbors as the thick shadow of birds flocks started over casting in the sky on their back journey from the five rivers and other water bodies of states to high altitude of Himalayan ranges.
It is celebrated all over India by different names like Bhew in Behari, Pongal in South , Baisakhi in North India and Vaisakhi is a festival that marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year and the traditional solar New Year for the Hindus. For the Sikh community, it’s considered as a foundation day of Khalsa Panth, a religious structure that manages the affairs of the global Khalsa community. While the Hindus believe that during Baisakhi Goddess Ganga descended on earth and in her honour, people till date gather along the sacred Ganges River for ritual baths.
The festival which is celebrated on April 13 or April 14 every year also has astrological significance as it marks the sun’s entry into Mesh rashi. According to legend, in the year of 1699 after the ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, for refusing to convert to Islam, the Tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh gave a unique identity to his followers by establishing the Khalsa Panth – also known as the Order of the Pure Ones. He administered Amrit (nectar) to his first batch of five disciples, turning them into warriors who would go on to defend religious freedom. He also freed the oppressed under an obstinate social system by inviting them to join this new religion where everyone is equal.
Till date people follow him and celebrate the ceremony by participating in kirtans which are special prayer meetings and carrying out colourful processions. It also remained us freedom struggle and relentless firing and mascaras on the innocent people by the British Army on the congregation at Jaliwalabag in Punjab on this day of April 13 1919. The farming community observe it as a thanksgiving day for the abundant harvest by performing Aawat Pauni, a tradition where people gather together to harvest the wheat and sing and dance to the tunes of the drums.
A special celebration also takes place at Talwandi Sabo, at the Gurudwara at Anandpur Sahib and at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It is equally important for the three community in India that Hindu and Buddhist and Sikh. Baisakhi is equally important for the Hindus as it marks the beginning of the traditional solar New Year and is celebrated as Pooram Vishu in Kerala, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Rongali Bihu in Assam, Naba Barsha in Bengal, and Baisakha in Bihar. People take a holy dip in the Ganges, Jhelum, Kaveri and visit temples. They also have a bath with paste made of raw turmeric and lentils. For the Buddhists it holds relevance as Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained Nirvana on this day.