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The Sikh Calendar :Gurupurabs and Festival Dates

The Sikh Calendar

The Sikh Calendar

Until the 13th of March, 1998, the Sikhs used a Hindu lunar calendar to determine their feast days. They now use their own Nanakshahi calendar which started on 14 March 1999 Gregorian (1 Chet 531 Nanakshahi ) and aligns with the Gregorian calendar as follows. The era (1 Chet 1 Nanakshahi) is the date of the birth of the 1st Guru, Nanak Dev, in the Punjab in 1469. Although there is an obvious relationship with the Hindu Solar Calendar, the Sikh Organization states that these dates are fixed relative to the Gregorian Calendar.

Baramaha

Baramaha is the name of composition in Sri Guru Granth Sahib which mention the twelve months (Indian names of the months) in a Calender year. Famous Baramaha composed by guru Arjan Dev Ji in Rag Majh is generally read in Gurudwaras on the day of Sangrand. Guru NanakDev Ji also composed Baramaha in Reg Tukhari.

Baramaha is a form of folk poetry in which the emotions and yearnings of the human heart are expressed in terms of changing moods of Nature over the twelve months period.

Sikh MonthBegins
ChetMarch 14
VaisakhApril 14
JethMay 15
HarhJune 15
SawanJuly 16
BhadonAugust 16
 
Sikh MonthBegins
AsuSeptember 15
KatikOctober 15
MagharNovember 14
PohDecember 14
MaghJanuary 13
PhaganFebruary 12

Gurupurabs

The Nanakshahi calendar is used for all the Gurupurabs (festivals marking events in the lives of the Gurus) except the birthday of Guru Nanak which continues to be celebrated according to the Hindu Lunar calendar on Katik Poornamashi. Events such as Maghi and Hola Mohalla continue to be celebrated according to the relevant calendars. Some Gurupurabs are considered more significant that others. These are the ones that commonly appear as holidays and are marked in bold type.

Gurpurabs mark the culmination of Prabhat Pheris, the early morning religious procession which goes around the localities singing shabads (hymns). These pheris generally start three weeks before the festival. Devotees offer sweets and tea when the procession passes their homes. The celebrations start with the three-day akhand path, in which the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) is read continuously from beginning to end without a break. The conclusion of the reading coincides with the day of the festival. The Granth Sahib is also carried in procession on a float decorated with flowers throughout the village or city. Five armed guards, who represent the Panj Pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands play religious music and marching schoolchildren form a special part of the procession. Free sweets and langar (community lunches) are also offered to everyone irrespective of religious faith. Local volunteers serve it with a spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion). Sikhs visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) where special programmes are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) sung. Houses and gurdwaras are lit up to add to the festivities.

Nanakshahi Calendar (Fixed dates)Gurpurabs

Calendar Year

 Gurpurb / FestivalGuru Sahib / FestivalNanakshahiCE
 Parkash UtsavGuru Gobind Singh Sahib23 Poh5 Jan
 Parkash UtsavGuru Har Rai Sahib19 Magh31 Jan
 GurgadiGuru Har Rai Sahib1 Chet14 Mar
 Nanakshahi New YearNanakshahi Era 535 commences1 Chet14 Mar
 Hola MuhallaHola Muhalla Nanakshahi*1 Chet14 Mar
 JotijotGuru Hargobind Sahib6 Chet19 Mar
 ParkashGuru Nanak Sahib *1 Vaisakh14 Apr
 Khalsa Day - VaisakhiKhalsa Panth Creation anniversary1 Vaisakh14 Apr
 JotijotGuru Angad Sahib3 Vaisakh16 Apr
 GurgadiGuru Amar Das Sahib3 Vaisakh16 Apr
 JotijotGuru Harkrishan Sahib3 Vaisakh16 Apr
 GurgadiGuru Tegh Bahadur Sahib3 Vaisakh16 Apr
 ParkashGuru Angad Sahib5 Vaisakh18 Apr
 ParkashGuru Tegh Bahadur Sahib5 Vaisakh18 Apr
 ParkashGuru Arjun Sahib19 Vaisakh2 May
 ParkashGuru Amar Das Sahib9 Jeth23 May
 GurgadiGuru Hargobind Sahib28 Jeth11 Jun
 MartyrdomGuru Arjun Sahib2 Harh16 Jun
 ParkashGuru Hargobind Sahib21 Harh5 Jul
 Miri-Piri DayGuru Hargobind Sahib6 Sawan21Jul
 ParkashGuru Harkrishan Sahib8 Sawan23Jul
 First ParkashGuru Granth Sahib17 Bhadon1 Sep
 JotijotGuru Amar Das Sahib2 Asu16 Sep
 GurgadiGuru Ramdas Sahib2 Asu16 Sep
 JotijotGuru Ramdas Sahib2 Asu16 Sep
 GurgadiGuru Arjun Sahib2 Asu16 Sep
 GurgadiGuru Angad Sahib4 Asu18Sep
 JotijotGuru Nanak Sahib8Asu22 Sep
 ParkashGuru Ramdas Sahib25 Asu9 Oct
 JotijotGuru Har Rai Sahib6 Katik20 Oct
 GurgadiGuru Harkrishan Sahib6 Katik20 Oct
 GurgadiGuru Granth Sahib6 Katik20 Oct
 JotijotGuru Gobind Singh Sahib7Katik21 Oct
 GurgadiGuru Gobind Singh Sahib11 Maghar24 Nov
 MartyrdomGuru Tegh Bahadur Sahib11 Maghar24 Nov
 MartyrdomElder Sahibzadas8 Poh21 Dec
 MartyrdomYounger Sahibzadas13 Poh26 Dec

Movable Dates (Change Every Year)

 Hola MohallaBandi Chhor DivasParkash Guru Nanak Sahib
200319 Mar25 Oct8 Nov
20047 Mar12 Nov26 Nov
200526 Mar1 Nov15 Nov
200615 Mar21 Oct5 Nov
20074 Mar9 Nov24 Nov
200822 Mar28 Oct13 Nov
200911 Mar17 Oct2 Nov
20101 Mar5 Nov21 Nov
201120 Mar26 Oct10 Nov
20129 Mar13 Nov28 Nov
201328 Mar3 Nov17 Nov
201417 Mar23 Oct6 Nov
20156 Mar11 Nov25 Nov
201624 Mar30 Oct14 Nov
201713 Mar19 Oct4 Nov
20182 Mar7 Nov23 Nov
201921 Mar27 Oct12 Nov
202010 Mar14 Nov30 Nov
    

 

Other Important Days

Chet
1 Chet / 14 March - Nanakshahi New Year Day
2 Chet / 15 March - S. Baghel Singh's conquest of Delhi
12 Chet / 25 March - Shaheedi Bhai Subeg Singh, Bhai Shahbaz Singh
27 Chet / 9 April - Birthday Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Ji

Vaisakh
1 Vaisakh / 14 April (Vaisakhi) - Birth Anniversary of Khalsa

Jeth
3 Jeth / 17 May - Chhota Ghallughara
21 Jeth / 4 June - 1984 Ghallughara (Attack on Sri Akal Takht Sahib)
23 Jeth / 6 June - Shaheedi Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Ji

Harh
11 Harh / 25 June - Shaheedi Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur
15 Harh / 29 June - Barsi Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji
25 Harh / 9 July - Shaheedi Bhai Mani Singh Ji

Sawan
1 Sawan / 16 July - Shaheedi Bhai Taru Singh Ji
24 Sawan / 8 August - Morcha Guru Ka Bagh

Bhadon
15 Bhadon / 30 August 2004 - Mela Baba Bakala

Assu
17 Assu / 1 October - Foundation Day Singh Sabha
21 Assu / 5 October - Mela Beerh Baba Buddha Ji

Katik
8 Katik / 22 October 2004 - Khalsa Darbar
14 Katik / 28 October - Foundation Day Chief Khalsa Diwan
14 Katik / 28 October - Saka Panja Sahib
18 Katik / 1 November - Punjabi Suba Day
30 Katik / 13 November - Shaheedi Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed

Maghar
1 Maghar / 14 November - Foundation Day SGPC
11 Maghar / 24 November - Shaheedi Bhai Mati Das Ji, and Bhai Sati Das Ji
15 Maghar / 28 November - Birthday Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji
19 Maghar / 2 December - Shaheedi Baba Gurbakhsh Singh Ji
29 Maghar / 12 December - Birthday Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji
30 Maghar / 13 December - Foundation Day Shromani Akali Dal

Poh
8 Poh / 21 December - Shaheedi Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh , and other Shaheeds of Chamkaur Sahib ---- 300th Anniversary
8 Poh / 21 December - Shaheedi Baba Jeevan Singh Ji
13 Poh / 26 December - Shaheedi Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, Sahibzada Fateh Singh, and Mata Gujri Ji's passing away ---- 300th Anniversary
Magh
1 Magh / 13 January - Mela Maghi Muktsar
1 Magh / 13 January - Foundation Day Sri Harimandar Sahib
7 Magh / 19 January - Morcha for Keys
25 Magh / 6 February - Mela Kottha Sahib
27 Magh / 8 February - Great Holocast
30 Magh / 11 February - Birthday Sahibzada Ajit Singh Ji

Phagun
10 Phagun / 21 February - Saka Nankana Sahib
10 Phagun / 21 February - Jaito Morcha

 

 

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