The birthday of Gurus is more often referred to as Gurupurab. When it comes to Gurupurab, the birthday of the first Guru of Sikhs, i.e. Guru Nanak Dev is known as the Guru Nanak Jayanti, which is celebrated with gaiety and fervor in India. Guru Nanak Jayanti has a lot of religious significance for the people of Sikh religion. Born in the year 1469 at a place called Talwandi, which lies at a distance of about 50 kms from Lahore, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the founder of Sikh religion.
Guru Nanak Jayanti Sikh festival falls in the month of Kartik
(October/November). To celebrate Guru Nanak's birthday, akhand path,
which is a three day long non stop prayer, is conducted two days before
Gurupurab. It involves the reading of Granth Sahib, the sacred book of
Sikhs. On the penultimate day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, a procession takes
place in the morning, which is more commonly known as the 'Prabhat
pheri'. It is led by the 'Panj Pyaras', the five beloved persons, who
guard the Sikh flag (Nishan Sahib).
The procession is accompanied by worshippers, who play different tunes
and sing hymns that are known as Shabads. People of all age groups
participate enthusiastically in the Prabhat pheris. The procession comes
to an end at the Gurudwara, where Prasad is distributed to all present.
People bend down in front of the Guru Granth Sahib and seek the divine
blessings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Various lectures and poems are recited
in the praise of Guru. Langar (special lunch) is then served to people.
The celebrations of Guru Nanak birthday are especially grand in the twin
states of Punjab and Haryana.