14 Apr Baisakhi -Teach Your Child Its Cultural Significance
Baisakhi, also known as Vishu is one of the most important festivals that is celebrated by the Sikhs and the Hindus on the 13th or 14th of April every year. The festival marks a new harvest season and the start of a new solar year. We all know that, but the fact about this festival does not just end here. There are many facts about the festival that even we as adults are not aware of, leave alone kids. However, as parents, would you allow your child to grow up with the same ignorance?
Every parent wants their child to learn and be knowledgeable about the culture of their country so that they can understand its significance and be a young proud citizen. Also, when someone asks them what the festival is all about, they can amaze people with all the knowledge they have accumulated, thanks to you.
Teaching your child about the cultural significance of does not, however, have to be a rigorous method of ‘sit and study’. You can do it in many interesting ways. Children learn better when they are having fun, so here are some ways for you to get started.
Narrate the History of Baisakhi to your Child
Every kid loves a good story time session. So, why not start with the story of how Baisakhi started. Maybe most of us know the story, but for those of us who do not, here is a gist of it.
The festival of Baisakhi started with the martyrdom of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, during the rule of the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, who was insistent on spreading Islam forcefully all over India. This was not acceptable to the Sikhs and the Hindus, which is when Guru Teg Bahadur stood up for their rights. The Mughals seeing this as a threat, beheaded Guru Teg Bahadur publicly to instil fear among the crowd.
Why Baisakhi is also the Khalsa Sirjana Divas
After Guru Teg Bahadur’s death, his son, Guru Gobind Singh was named the next Guru of the Sikhs. Like his father, Guru Gobind Singh wanted to imbue valour and strength among his people. Hence, he called on the historic Baisakhi Day assembly of the Sikhs at Keshgarh Sahib near Anandpur on March 30, 1699.
When the people had assembled for his blessings, Guru Gobind Singh appeared with an unsheathed sword and offered a powerful speech. In the end, he called out to his people and asked them if they were prepared to sacrifice their lives for doing a good deed. If they were, then he asked them to follow him to the tent. After calling out for the third time, a young man appeared from the crowd and followed the Guru into the tent. After a while, the Guru reappeared from his tent alone with blood on his sword. He repeated the same action four times more, every time returning alone with blood on the sword blade. This worried everyone waiting outside. This was when the Guru presented all five men to the crowd, wearing turbans and saffron robes.
The Guru named these five men the Panj Piaras, the first members of the Khalsa and embodiment of the Guru himself. This led to Baisakhi also being observed as a celebration of the Khalsa Panth, hence also called the Khalsa Sirjana Divas.
Baisakhi is Not Celebrated Only in Punjab
Your child might be limited to think that Baisakhi is only celebrated in Punjab, which of course is not true. Baisakhi is the New Year for Hindus everywhere and is also celebrated in other parts of India like Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and more. The only variation is that the dates may differ from state to state like in Gujarat the festival coincides with Diwali while in other places it starts a week early.
After Holi, Baisakhi is the festival of colour and brightness, to welcome spring with full fervour. Not only is the festival celebrated in India but also around the world, which your child will be proud to hear of. This Baisakhi, tell your child the story of courage, unity, and prosperity and lead them to understand the significance of India’s vast culture.
We are also celebrating Baisakhi with full josh by teaching your little one everything they need to know about the festival. Download the OckyPocky app and look for Baisakhi card. Happy Baisakhi.
Read more on how to celebrate Ram Navami with your little one that falls on the Baisakhi too!