The United States of America has often been seen as a nation that is a melting pot of various global cultures, and it is home to a large Sikh community as well. The community is at its prominent best on 13th April, when it actively participates in Baisakhi celebrations in United States. Typically, 13th April is the date for Baisakhi celebrations in United States, and this date is significant to the Sikh community for a number of reasons.
Baisakhi is a celebration of three aspects of Sikh culture. It is observed as a harvest festival by farmers who give their thanks to the Almighty for providing them the necessary crops. It also marks the commencement of Nanakshahi calendar year. It also celebrates the Khalsa’s establishment, which dates back to 1699.
Baisakhi celebrations in United States are long drawn out, with prayers, parades, and parties being extremely common. The customs and rituals observed in the festival date back to the 1690s. The colors, community, food, and the people make Baisakhi celebrations in United States truly memorable.How to Go About the Baisakhi Celebrations?
- Prayers: People from various Sikh communities across the United States gather at Gurdwaras and offer morning prayers to the perpetual Sikh Guru, Guru Granth Sahib. Once the prayers are over, worshippers are served a popular dessert known as kada Prasad.
- Langar: Volunteers at the Gurdwaras serve free vegetarian meals to members around lunch time. Outsiders are welcome as well, and anyone can volunteer to help out the community.
- Parades and Processions: The procession is a major part of Baisakhi celebrations in United States. The Sikh Holy Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib features prominently in the processions, as it is carried around while members of the community engage in spiritual songs, prayers, and dance. Baisakhi is a great time to observe the traditional Punjabi dance form known as Bhangra. This energetic dance form involves a lot of jumping. Women from the Sikh communities stick to the dance form known as Gidda, which is somewhat subtler than the Bhangra.
In terms of clothes, both men and women generally wear bright clothes. Along with their traditional turbans, men wear kurtas with brightly decorated waistcoats. Women are known to wear either a lehenga-choli or a salwar-kameez suit.