Baisakhi, celebrated on April 13 or 14 every year in north India, is a harvest festival of the winter ( rabi) crops. For the Sikh community, the day is also as a celebration of the New Year and a day of thanksgiving to the Lord for their fortune and prayers for better crops the next year.
In the little town of Talwandi Sabo in Bhatinda district in Punjab, Baisakhi is also commemorated as the foundation of the Khalsa Panth (the Sikh religion) and completion of the sacred scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib by the tenth Guru Gobind Singh. Talwandi Sabo is also known as one of the Five Takhts (Seat) of the temporal authority of Sikhism.
Baisakhi sees large gatherings of pilgrims, who offer their prayers, recite religious songs and hymns at Gurudwara Damdama Sahib throughout the day. Besides the prayers, the devotees also participate in numerous cultural activities like sports festivals, exhibitions, Nagar Kirtan (chanting devotional songs during processions) and langars (community free kitchen) that are organised at several spots in the town, besides inside various Gurudwaras. Volunteers of all age groups participate in preparation of the langars and also invite people to join. The Gurudwaras are also decorated for the occasion. During the processions, youth and children demonstrate their martial skills like gatka (a unique Sikh martial art) with sticks, swords, shields and spinning nets.
Another famous pilgrimage of Talwandi Sabo is Gurudwara Shri Likhansar Sahib, where, as the legend has it, those who write the 35 alphabets of Gurmukhi (Punjabi script) are blessed with intelligence and knowledge.
Ras Al Khaimah