Guru Nanak Jayanthi is celebrated on the eve of first birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was the first Sikh Guru. This is the most scared festival of Sikkhism. Guru Nanak ji was born on 1469 at Tolevandi. He was the founder of Sikh religion.It is celebrated on the full moon day of Kartik Poornima.
The date varies from year to year depending on the rotation of the moon. Guru Nanak was a great saint and great singer. There is a Gurudwar and sarovar ( holy tank) at Lahore ( birth place of Guru Nanak). This is the place where most of the devotees visit on Guru Nanak Jayanthi.
Guru Nanak also composed many poems in the name of God and manhood. The most popular preaching of Guru Nanak is “Serve God, Serve humanity. Only Service to humanity shall secure for us a place in heaven”. This is absolutely true.
The holy book of the Sikh is called as Guru Granth Sahib. Before two days of the Guru Nanak birthday, Akhand Path is done. Akhand Path is continuous reading of hyms continuously for forty-eight hours. The day before the Guru Nanak birthday, there will be a procession called as Nagarkirtan.
This procession is led by five people known as Panj Pyaras which means Five Beloved Ones. The procession is done with the Sikh flag known as Nishan Sahib. Gurudwaras are beautifully decorated with flowers.
They sing the hymns in their locality. The passage is covered with banners, gates decorated flags and flowers. They do this to convey the message of Guru Nanak to the public. In the evening, Gurudwaras are lightened with candles and earthern lamps.
On Gurpurab, the celebration starts in the early morning at 4 AM. Morning 4AM to 5AM is called as Amrit Vela. This is done by Katha (story) and Kirtan (hymns). After this, they will have Langar (lunch). This is the free lunch provided the volunteers of Gurudwaras.
The idea behind this is to provide free lunch to everybody irrespective of caste, color and creed. Night prayers are also held which is called as Rehras. The hyms continue up to 1.20 AM because this is the time when Guru Nanak was born and the festival ends at 2AM.
These celebrations are most colorful in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. In Gurudwar, Morning Prayer is called as Japji and evening prayer is called as Sohila. Guru Nanak died in 1538 AD.