Hindu Festivals Calendar


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Vaisakhi/ Baisakhi

April 13


Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by the Sikh community. It marks the start of the new harvest season, and more importantly, it commemorates the formation of the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699, which is considered the birth of the Sikh faith.

Celebrated on April 13 or 14 every year, the day is filled with prayers, processions, and festivities. Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) hold kirtans (devotional songs) and special community meals known as langars. Processions called Nagar Kirtan are taken out, where participants sing hymns and carry the Sikh flag, known as the Nishan Sahib, and the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book).

In the farming communities of Punjab, Baisakhi also marks the time for harvest of rabi (winter) crops, and is therefore extremely significant for the agriculturists.


Vishu, celebrated in Kerala and parts of Karnataka, is the astrological New Year festival of the Malayalam calendar. Falling on the same day as Vaisakhi, Vishu signifies the sun’s transit into the Meda Raasi (first zodiac sign) according to Indian astrological calculations.

Vishu Kani, the first thing people see on the day of Vishu, is the most significant ritual of the festival. A special setting is prepared with items like rice, golden cucumber, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror, yellow flowers called konna (Cassia fistula), and holy texts and coins in a bell metal vessel called uruli in the puja room of the house. A lighted bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside. This is prepared on the previous day. On Vishu, people wake up at dawn and go to the puja room with their eyes closed so that the Vishu Kani is the first sight they see.

Other rituals include giving money, known as Vishu Kaineetam, and the feast or Sadya, which consist of equal proportions of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items. Fireworks are part of the celebration in many parts of Kerala.

While both these festivals share the same date, the manner in which they are celebrated and their cultural significance are quite unique, reflecting the diversity of traditions across India.


April 13
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