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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in India Lesson 10 - Sikh New Year
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in India Series at HindiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hindi holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 10, Sikh New Year. In Hindi, it’s called Baisakhi.
Across most Indian states, the new year is the first day of the month of Baisakh, according to the Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh calendars. This falls around mid-April and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by every community. In this lesson, we are talking about Baisakhi, which is the Hindu New Year and the biggest Sikh festival.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
The Sikh religion has a holy scripture that is taken out in a procession held in local neighborhoods on Baisakhi Day. Do you know its name?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Baisakhi is a day that goes by many different names. It’s referred to as Vishi in Kerala, Bohag Bihu in Assam, Ugadi in Andhra, Navreh in Kashmir, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Chaura Oba in Manipur, Bastu Varas in Gujarat, Chaiti in Himachal and Poila Boisakh in Bengal. In Punjab, this is the day that people begin to harvest crops sown in winter, and is thus a time of celebration and joy for farmers. They usually celebrate by taking a dip in the river, or in Hindi Nadi, in the morning, going to the temple, and praying to thank the gods for a good harvest.
Baisakhi is important in Punjab for many reasons. Fairs are organized for the whole day and people, dressed in colorful clothes, take their families to see the celebrations. Wrestling matches and musical and acrobatic performances are on full display as people dance to the beat of the Punjabi drum, called a Dhol, with energetic music and noise. The other event marked by this day is the establishment of the Khalsa Panth by the tenth Sikh guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
In Sikhism, the teachings of the ten Gurus, which form the scriptures, are a means of passing on wisdom, or Gyan. Baisakhi is the occasion when Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa Panth of warrior saints in order to protect the people from the tyranny of Mughal kings, and perpetuate the knowledge in the holy book, in Hindi called Pavitrr Kitab. Every year on Baisakhi, Sikh devotees offer prayers and chants in their temples. Neighborhood processions take place on this day, and people celebrate by distributing sweets in the evening.
The holiest place in the Sikh religion is the temple 'Harmandir Sahib' in Amritsar, serving as a Mecca for Sikhs. It has a golden dome, giving it its nickname of the “Golden Temple.”
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
The Sikh religion has a holy scripture that is taken out in the procession held in local neighborhoods on Baisakhi Day. Do you know its name?
It is called the Guru Granth Sahib and is kept in Sikh temples. Sikh followers bow their heads in reverence as it passes by in processions held on Baisakhi.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How are harvest festivals celebrated in your community?
Leave us a comment telling us at HindiPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

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How are harvest festivals celebrated in your community?