350 th Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, which means the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, is a huge festival among the Sikhs, which denotes the birthday of prominent Sikh figure Guru Gobind Singh, also spelled as Guru Govind Singh, who was the 10th Guru of the Sikhs. The festival sees all Sikhs in great spirits, offering prayers for prosperity and betterment of the world and people.
The guru was originally born on the 22nd of December, 1666, and every year his birth anniversary falls in either December or January, according to the dates in the Gregorian calendar, but the celebration of the festival is as per the Nanakshahi calendar. The birth place of Guru Gobind Singh Ji was Patna, the capital city of the state of Bihar in present day, and he was the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who had an immense contribution in the development of the Sikh community and had also sacrificed his life to protect religious freedom and importance. Guru Gobind Singh Ji thus became a guru at the tender age of only nine years and made a huge impact through his righteous religious teachings. He also stood against the Mughal rule in India, fighting against injustice and went on to establish the Khalsa, which is a military group of all the saint soldiers whom he had baptized.
The festival as on today observes happy celebrations, wherein large processions of Sikh crows walk the roads, singing devotional songs to pay tribute to the Guru and the religious celebration is also marked by fine delicacies, including tasty sherbets and other food items. Both children and adults celebrate the festival with full congeniality. Huge gatherings in the form of prayer gatherings are held at majority of the Gurudwaras, which are the holy worship place for the Sikh communities. A huge mass of poor people too is fed during this auspicious occasion. In the gurudwaras, a list of poems and short stories from the life of the guru is recited and narrated to all the profound devotees to remember and pay homage to the great guru of the entire Sikh community. The year 2017 marks the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Technically it is not a government holiday and hence, all public schools and offices are open on this day. However, this may vary for certain Sikh schools and workplaces in the country, who observe this day as a festival and hence treat it as a non-working day.
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