Guru Nanak Dev was the founder of Sikhism. He was born in 1469 AD in a village, Rai-Bhoj-di Talwandi near Lahore, Pakistan. He was born in a Bedi kshtriya family. Of the ten gurus in Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev was the first Guru. His birthday is celebrated as Guru Nanak Jayanthi. This jayanthi is the prime festival for Sikh community. He was a messenger of love, truth and peace. Guru Nanak Gurupurab or Guru Nanakji`s Prakash Utsav is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Gurupurab is the birth anniversaries of the ten gurus which are celebrated with devotion and dedication by the Sikhs. Sikhs believe that God is not having form and they do not worship idols.
Guru Nanak birthday is also in the Guru Purab which is celebrated in honour of Guru Nanak. The birthday will come in the month of Karthik month of Hindu calendar on the full moon day. Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanthi with respect, honour and pride. The present Sikh gurus will go to the gurdwaras and sing kirtans in praise of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak Jayanthi is celebrated for three days. The Celebration in the temple starts in the morning. The Guru Granth Sahib is read from morning till evening, in the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
The Guru Granth Sahib is decorated with flowers and taken in a procession. This is the starting of the Akhand Path. As it is taken in procession in the morning it is called Prabhat Pheri. The city of Amritsar is well decorated on this event. The devotees and authorities manage this festival by lighting lights on the roads. Smoking and Drinking is forbidden in the site of the temple. Before the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, the devotees will carry the Nishan Sahib which is the Sikh flag, by singing hymns. The Granth Sahib is carried with full decoration of flowers in a procession all over the village of city. The musicians’ accompany the procession.
The Panj Pyras or the five armed guards and the Gatka team will display their sword skills, martial arts in the procession. This procession is the major attraction of the celebrations. The Guru Dwara will distribute free sweets on the event of Guru Nanak Jayanthi. The lunch is also free for the people. All the Sikh men and women will participate in this occasion. The Karah Prasad is distributed to the people. In Punjab the Guru Nanak Jayanthi is celebrated with great pomp and show. Especially in Amritsar this festival is celebrated well.
It is best to visit the Golden temple in Amritsar in the month of October or November. The festivals celebrated in Amritsar are mostly religious. Amritsar is divided into two parts which is new and old. The Golden Temple lies in the old part of Amritsar. This part has a lot of bazaars and is 15 minutes way from the railway station. There is a free bus which runs from the railway station to the Golden Temple every 45 minutes. All the pilgrims are fed free food from the kitchen of the temple called the Guru Ka Langar.