Baisakhi ranks among the popular festivals in India. It is a famous festival in the state of Punjab and is celebrated with huge fanfare and excitement. The festival takes place along with the farming time when the Rabi crop is ready for harvesting. Baisakhi happens on the lucky day when the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, founded the Khalsa Panth cult. It dates back to around three hundred years.
Baisakhi in Punjab is held every year in the period between the months of April and May. The festival is celebrated with immense fun, frolic and merry-making. The time of the festival falls on April 13 or April 14 as per the Indian solar calendar.
Being the greatest festival of the Sikhs, Baisakhi is celebrated with great vitality and enthusiasm. People take part in the festival by eating a wide range of home made Punjabi delicacies. Other local food items and sweets are also cooked and eaten during the festival. All the family members have dinner together and enjoy themselves by performing the famous folk dance of the state Punjab-Bhangra. Women take part in a lot of dances as well. In addition to Bhangra, another popular form of enjoyment is the Gidda dance, which is played along with traditional music.Men and women irrespective of age decorate themselves with colored clothes and traditional jewelery. The worships are usually made on the banks of rivers and streams.
People celebrate Baisakhi all over Punjab by going to Gurudwaras and distributing Kada Prasad among family members, friends and relatives. Religious processions led by the Panj Piaras or the five religious men are taken out in various cities and provinces. Traditional songs, kirtans and recitations of holy passages from the Guru Granth Sahib are made in Gurudwaras. The ritual of Kar Sewa is also performed. Kar sewa is the process of offering physical labor to assist in the everyday jobs of the Gurudwara. It is a traditional symbol of modesty for the Sikh community.
During Baisakhi, in Punjab, all offices, educational institutions and business houses remain closed. Friends, colleagues and well wishers exchange gifts between themselves. Companies and business houses offer gifts to the customers and employees as a goodwill gesture. The annual shopping sale also takes place during this period. The shops offer heavy discounts and rebates on a wide range of items. To lure more tourists, the hotels offer heavy discounts on the lodging facilities.