SRINAGAR — Baisakhi was celebrated with religious fervour by the Sikh community in the Kashmir valley on Thursday. Prayers, kirtan and langars were organized at major Gurdwaras across Kashmir. The biggest function was held at Chatti Pathshahi in Rainawari.
Although Baisakhi festival is celebrated in various other northern states for a good harvest of Rabi crop and is often also referred to as the Sikh New Year, the Sikh community here attaches religious connotations to the festival as Baisakhi is celebrated as the day of the creation of the Khalsa.
Apart from paying obeisance at Gurudwaras, Sikhs pay visits to their friends and relatives for greetings. The Sikh dominated areas like Rainawari and Jawahar Nagar wore a festive look.
Sikhs wear different dresses on Baisakhi and children come together to play. They prepare different dishes to celebrate the occasion. Families go to gardens and markets to celebrate the occasion. It is something unseen in other states where Baisakhi is celebrated.
”Festivals like Baisakhi bring happiness and joy among the people. Such festive occasions provide a chance for the people of different communities to come close to each other while exchanging pleasantries,” one of the devotees said.
In south Kashmir, Baisakhi was celebrated in many places. People kept pouring in at Gurdwaras at Chandrigam Tral, Mattan, Singhpora, Hutbora, Kchenbal, and Palmpora. In north Kashmir, devotees from the Sikh community held religious gatherings at the Gurdwara Chatti Padshahi in Baramulla, Khawaja Bagh and Paranpila in Uri.
Keeping in with the tradition, the Mughal Gardens were officially opened to the public on the occasion. Tourists visiting Asia’s largest tulip garden on the foothill of Zabarwan for the past month were seen touring Mughal Gardens as well. It is because of the tulip garden that the tourist season was advanced by about a month in the Valley.