Guru Nanak Jayanti 2019: Gurpurab Date, Significance & History

The festival of Gurupurab is not only regarded as an auspicious occasion but is also the birth anniversary of the first of the ten Sikh gurus, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

As the Sikhs believe that the Guru Nanak brought enlightenment to the world, the festival is therefore also referred to as the Prakash Utsav, which means “birth of light”. The date of Gurupurab varies from year to year in accordance to the traditional lunar calendar. This year in 2019, according to the Gregorian calendar it falls on the 12th of November.

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History and Significance of Guru Nanak Jayanti

The founder of Sikhism was Guru Nanak. Hence, his birth anniversary carries immense significance for the community. He was born in 1469 at Nankana Sahib, Punjab. It is believed that his birth was a mark of divinity.

He firmly believed in the presence of one God and also believed that every individual can connect to God through sincere prayers. He didn’t encourage traditions that included sacrifices. All his teachings and preaching have been amalgamated together to form a sacred book called Guru Granth Sahib.

This festival is celebrated to honour his life, achievements and, most importantly, his legacy.

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How Is Guru Nanak Jayanti Celebrated?

Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations go on for three days, two days before the prayer, and Akhand Path, a continuous reading, of the Guru Granth Sahib is conducted at Gurudwaras.

One day prior to the birth anniversary, there is a procession where the Guru Granth Sahib is carried on a palanquin accompanied by instrumental music and ‘gatka’ team showcasing their swordsmanship.

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