Vaisakhi: The Sikh New Year!

Hello my KMD Lovelies!

This week I’ll be bringing you another snippet of my lovely cultural background:  a post all about Vaisakhi!  As you probably have figured it out by now, Indians love to celebrate the start of the fall and spring seasons.  It all revolves around certain harvesting seasons for different parts of India but the country celebrates these holidays as a whole and with pure joy.  To find out more about other Indian holidays, check my others posts about Diwali, Navaratri and Holi.

Vaisakhi is one of my favorite Sikh holidays.  Most of the others Indian holidays that I have posted about are celebrated within many religions and countries across the globe.  However, Vaisakhi is one of the few that is truly a Sikh holiday mainly celebrated in Punjabi.  With the recent growth of Sikhs being all around India and the world, Vaisakhi is now celebrated as a universal Sikh holiday- no matter where the location.  If you’re curious about Sikhism and what the religion is about then my best bet would be to check out Google or Wikipedia, for more information.

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Vaisakhi is celebrated as the Sikh new year.  As the Sikhism calendar follows the lunar cycle, the new year is usually around the spring time.  The date of Vaisakhi usually falls around the 13th or 14th of April, depending on the Lunar calendar.  There are many religious significances for this holiday as well, as most Indian holidays do.  One of the major religious significances is that one of the Sikh Gurus, Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, had refused to convert to Islam under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.  This action had led to the next coronation of the Guru of Sikhism, making that Guru the 10th Guru, as well as the birth of Khalsa.

Phew!  That was a lot of detailed information in a short paragraph, but I wanted to just dip my toes in some religious significance of the holiday.  So moving on, to my favorite parts about this holiday.  I love this holiday because it was one of the few holidays that my immediate family would get together.  My parents would always take off of work for this holiday and celebrate the joy of it as a family.  Even if my siblings and I had school on Vaisakhi (or now work, as we’ve gotten older), we still celebrated it at night, when everyone was home.

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As with any New Year’s celebrations, we had our favorite snacks and sweets ready to eat.  My dad would always bring home Jalebi’s for my mom (her favorite) and my mom would always make the whole family Pakora’s (or Indian hush puppies, as I like to call them).  The Sunday following the holiday, we would always go to Gurdwara (a Sikh temple), which would have a very special service in celebration of the holiday.  Occasionally, we would always attend the Sikh Day Parade in Manhattan.  As we grew older, my siblings and I have stopped attending the parade just due to the crazy chaos but we still enjoyed the food at home and the celebrations at the Gurudwara.

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Now, my favorite part of the holiday: my outfit!  There is actually no traditional attire worn during Vaisakhi.  Most women just end up wearing a brand new and shiny Punjabi Salwar Suit.  Salwar suits are one of the most comfortable types of Indian attires as the outfit is literally composed of the salwar (basically jasmine pants), a kameeze (the long top) and a dupatta (the scarf).  For the outfit that I chose here, I went with one of my favorite colors: Pink (if you couldn’t tell from my blog colors)!  This salwar suit had bright pink pants and the dupatta matched the same shade of the pants.  I loved the top of the suit since it was a neutral beige shade and all the emphasis was on the salwar and dupatta.  I love to pair my outfit with jumke (the earrings) and a nice pair of shiny heels.

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Did you guys enjoy my post about the Sikhism New Year?  Do you celebrate New Years’ type of holiday in your culture and/or religion as well?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Photo creditsKunjal Pathak Photography.  Follow him on Instagram, Facebook or E-mail him at kunjalpathak@gmail.com

Make-up and Hair:  Denise Chan

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