Guru Nanak Jayanti - History, Significance, Theme

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2022, 11:15

Guru Nanak Jayanti is an auspicious occasion for the Sikh Community. Also known as Gurpurab or Guru Nanak's Prakash Utsav, the festival commemorates the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Guru Nanak Dev was the first teacher of Sikhism, followed by nine others. The community believes that he brought enlightenment to the world through his teachings.

When is Guru Nanak Jayanti?

Guru Nanak Jayanti is marked according to the Hindu Lunar calendar, and the date varies from year to year. The day is celebrated on the day of Kartik Poornima, the fifteenth lunar day in the month of Kartik. This usually falls in November by the Gregorian calendar.

Guru Nanak Jayanti 2021 was celebrated on Friday, 19 November, 2021. It marked the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak Jayanti 2022 falls on Tuesday, 8th November 2022.

Guru Nanak Jayanti - History and Significance

  • On April 15, 1469, Guru Nanak was born in Talwandi, a village near Lahore. It currently falls in Nankana Sahib of modern-day Pakistan.
  • His birth is believed to be a mark of divinity.
  • A Gurudwara was built in Nankana Sahib, his birthplace, and was called Gurudwara Janam Asthan. It is currently located in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
  • All the teachings and preaching of Guru Nanak are compiled together in a sacred book called the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Sikhism revolves around this central holy book which is regarded as the final, sovereign, and eternal Guru by Sikhs.
  • The main verses of the sacred book elaborate the message of 'Ik Onkar,' meaning 'One God' who resides in each of his creations.
  • Guru Nanak's verses preach selfless service to all humanity irrespective of their differences. It also spreads the message of universal brotherhood, prosperity, and social justice for all.
  • He believed that the path of God was sincere prayers and discouraged the tradition of sacrifices.
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrates the legacy of this spiritual Guru and honours his achievements and teachings.

Guru Nanak Jayanti 2021 - Celebrations

  • Celebrations for Guru Nanak Jayanti start two days before the main occasion. Akhand Path is held in Gurudwaras, a non-stop reading of Guru Granth Sahib for 48 hours.
  • A procession called Nagarkirtan is also organized a day before his birthday. It is led by five men (Panj Pyaras) carrying the Sikh flag (Nishan Sahib) and the Palanquin of Guru Granth Sahib (Palki).
  • The procession pours into the streets, followed by teams of singers spreading the message of Guru Nanak.
  • On the actual Gurupurab day, the celebration commences in the early morning hours called Amrit Vela. It begins with morning hymns followed by Katha and Kirtan (exposition of scriptures).
  • The celebration is followed by the Langar- a special free community lunch arranged at Gurudwaras. The concept behind Langar is the spirit of Sewa (service) to everyone irrespective of their differences.
  • A public holiday is observed in many parts of the country to celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti. They include Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, UP, MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.
  • The festival is also celebrated in parts of Pakistan and England.
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FAQs on Guru Nanak Jayanti

Q.1) What was on November 19, 2021?

Ans: Guru Nanak Jayanti, the first Sikh Guru's birth anniversary, was celebrated on November 19, 2021.

Q.2) When will Guru Nanak Jayanti be held in 2022?

Ans: Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on Tuesday, 8th November 2022.

Q.3) Why is Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated?

Ans: Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated to honour the legacy and contributions of the first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak.