Happy Vaisakhi

The first day of the month of Vaisakh (the first month of the Hindu new year) is a special day. The day is celebrated in different parts of India in different ways. This is a day of special significance in Punjab, where the festival of Vaisakhi is one of the most important festivals for the Sikh community.

Vaisakhi is highly significant for Hinduism. It is believed that on this day, the Goddess Ganga descended on earth at the prayer of King Bhagirath, and this makes Vaisakhi a very important festival for Hindus.

Vaisakhi is also the day of the harvest festival, when thanks are given to God for the bounty of the harvest, and the harvest celebrated. Its difficult to over-emphasize the importance of the harvest festival for a primarily agrarian society.

This is also the day on which, in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh ji, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, founded the Khalsa order. As such, Vaisakhi is the day the Sikh religion was founded, and this makes Vaisakhi the most important festival for Sikhs who celebrate it with gusto across the world.

This is also the day on which Swami Dayananda Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj in 1875.

More recently, in the year 1919, this day saw the massacre of thousands of unarmed, peaceful protesters at Jallianwala Bagh. As a fallout, Shahid Udham Singh Khamboj assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, who was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab when the massacre happened.

The great poet, Rabindranath Tagore, upon hearing about the massacre, wrote to the then Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, renouncing his knighthood.

Vaisakhi is celebrated with different names in different parts of India, as the Bihu in Assam, as Poyla Boishakh in Bengal, Vishu in Kerala, and as the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka.

Here’s wishing you happiness on the auspicious occassion of Vaisakhi.

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