Guru Nanak Birthday

Information about Guru Nanak Birthday

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There may be several reasons for the adoption of the Kartik birth date by the Sikh community. It may have been the date of Nanak's enlightenment or "spiritual birth" in 1496, as suggested by Dabestan-e Mazaheb. Bhai Gurdas, writing on a full-moon-day of the Kartik month several decades after Nanak's death, mentions that Nanak had "obtained omniscience" on the same day, and it was now the author's turn to "get divine light". According to Max Arthur Macauliffe, in the 19th century, a Hindu fair held on Kartik Purnima at Ram Tirath in Amritsar attracted a large number of Sikhs. The Sikh religious leader Giani Sant Singh did not like this, and therefore, started a fair at the Sikh shrine of Golden Temple on the same day, presenting it as the birth anniversary celebration of Guru Nanak. Macauliffe also notes that Baisakh (March–April) already saw a number of important festivals – such as Holi, Rama Navami, and Baisakhi, and the people would be busy in agricultural activities after the harvest festival of Baisakhi. Therefore, holding Nanak's birth anniversary celebrations immediately after Baisakhi would have resulted in thin attendance, and therefore, smaller donations for the Sikh shrines. On the other hand, by the Kartik full moon day, the major Hindu festival of Diwali was already over, and the peasants – who had surplus cash from crop sales – were able to donate generously.