New Delhi: Gurpurab is a festival observed by the Sikh community across the world. On this day, the birthdays of all the ten gurus and is considered as the most sacred festival for the Sikhs.
The Gurpurab festival begins with prayers early in the morning, which is followed by morning hymns or of 'Asa Ki Vaar'. The prayers begin at 4 am and the hour is referred to as 'Amrit Vela'. With the hymns, a combination of 'Katha' and 'Kirtan' is performed.
A significant part of Gurpurab is ‘langar’ at Gurudwaras. Langar is the free meal served by volunteers to all the visitors without distinguishing between religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity.
While the birthdays of all Sikh gurus are celebrated as Gurpurab, the birth anniversary of the first guru, Guru Nanak, is celebrated as 'Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav'. This year, it will be celebrated on November 23 this year.
Guru Nanak Dev was born in 1469 in Talwandi, which is about 65 kilometers west of Lahore. His sermons are enshrined as 974 poetic hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib, which is also the holy book of Sikhs.
A day prior to Gurpurab festival, a procession is organised which is known as Nagar Kirtan and is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones).