Srinagar: The famous Sikh festival of Baisakhi is being celebrated across Kashmir today. The spring festival will be celebrated by the Sikh population with traditional and religious fervour.
The festival marks the beginning of the solar year and for the farming community of Punjab, it marks the time for the harvest of Rabi crops.
With the major decline in Covid cases, the festival is expected to witness a massive rush of devotees in religious places across Kashmir.
To mention, due to COVID in the past two years the Sikh community had decided to curtail the celebrations, urging people to stay home in view of the COVID19 pandemic.
But since the COVID has witnessed a massive decline and restrictions have also been lifted, all the major gardens and religious places are expected to witness a massive rush.
All major religious gatherings will be held at Chatti Padhshahi Gurdwara in Shaher-e-Khaas and other Gurdwaras of the UT. In north Kashmir, devotees from Sikh community will hold religious gatherings at the Gurdwara Chatti Padshahi in Baramulla, Khawaja Bagh and Paranpila in Uri.
Likewise, in South Kashmir, Baisakhi will be celebrated at many places like Gurdwaras at Mattan, Singhpora and Hutmora. Keeping with the tradition, the Mughal gardens Nishat and Shalimar are expected to witness a heavy rush of visitors. During Baisakhi, Bajan Keertans are performed at Gurdwaras across Kashmir. The biggest function is held at Chatti Padshahi, Kathi Darwaza, Rainawari in the downtown.
During the festival, Sikhs wake up early and visit Gurdwaras where langars or community feasts are arranged as part of charity on the day. People also exchange greetings with friends, neighbours, and relatives.
“Every year we celebrated this festival with enthusiasm and brotherhood. This festival gives the message of peace and affection between every community of Kashmir. We will spend our day visiting our family and friends,” said Pardeep Singh Dardi, social activist and founder of Youth Empowerment society.
Dardi said that the community hopes that the administration will keep every kind of facility available for the devotees. “Like any other festival, we hope that administration will be on toes to facilitate smooth celebration across Kashmir,” Dardi said.
While talking to Greater Kashmir All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that the festival in addition to being a festival of brotherhood has a historic significance.
“It is this day that our religion was given a special identity. It is during this occasion that our community received the identity of 5 kakars which has since then become the unique identity of our appearance. Our 6th Guru Hargobind ji has visited Kashmir and this place has always been of great significance to our community here. The day will witness a number of religious programs across Srinagar and other districts,” Raina said.
Er. Sandeep Singh, Joint secretary Gurdwara Prabandak Committee Srinagar said that on the religious occasion the whole community extends their wishes to every Kashmiri and they pray for the universal brotherhood and peace in Kashmir.