Sikh Gurpurab Calendar

Editor's Note: In 2013, Jathedar of Akal Takhat, Giani Gurbachan Singh ji, changed the calendar for the Sikh celebrations. The following celebrations are now observed according to the traditional (Bikrami) calendar: The birth and martyrdom day of Guru Gobind Singh, the death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev ji, the coronation (Guru Gaddi Diwas) of Siri Guru Granth Sahib and sangrand, the beginning of every month. The Bikrami calendar is a lunar calendar, so these celebrations, along with the birthday of Guru Nanak, will change from year to year. 

Until the 13th of March, 1998, the Sikhs used a Hindu lunar calendar to determine their feast days. They now use their own Nanakshahi calendar which started on 14 March 1999 Gregorian (1 Chet, year 531 Nanakshahi ) and aligns with the Gregorian calendar as follows. The era (1 Chet 1 Nanakshahi) is the date of the birth of the 1st Guru, Nanak Dev, in the Punjab in 1469. Although there is an obvious relationship with the Hindu Solar Calendar, the Sikh Organisation states that these dates are fixed relative to the Gregorian Calendar.

The Nanakshahi calendar is used for all the Gurupurabs (festivals marking events in the lives of the Gurus) except the birthday of Guru Nanak which continues to be celebrated according to the Hindu Lunar calendar on Katik Poornamashi. Events such as Maghi and Hola Mohalla continue to be celebrated according to the relevant calendars. Some Gurupurabs are considered more significant that others. These are the ones that commonly appear as holidays.

Gurpurabs mark the culmination of Prabhat Pheris, the early morning religious procession which goes around the localities singing shabads (hymns). These pheris generally start three weeks before the festival. Devotees offer sweets and tea when the procession passes their homes. The celebrations start with the three-day akhand path, in which the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) is read continuously from beginning to end without a break. The conclusion of the reading coincides with the day of the festival. The Granth Sahib is also carried in procession on a float decorated with flowers throughout the village or city. Five armed guards, who represent the Panj Pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands play religious music and marching schoolchildren form a special part of the procession. Free sweets and langar (community lunches) are also offered to everyone irrespective of religious faith. Local volunteers serve it with a spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion). Sikhs visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) where special programmes are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) sung. Houses and gurdwaras are lit up to add to the festivities.

SIKH MONTHS

Editor's Note: According to an edict issued by Akal Takhat Jathedar in 2013, the beginning of each month will be determined by the old Bikrami calendar. The dates listed here are according to the Nanakshahi calendar.

Sikh Month Begins
Chet March 14
Vaisakh April 14
Jeth May 15
Harh June 15
Sawan July 16
Bhadon August 16
Asu September 15
Katik October 15
Maghar November 14
Poh December 14
Magh January 13
Phagan February 12

Sikh Events By Date

Nanakshahi
Date
Gregorian
Date
Event
Chet 1 March 14 Accession of Guru Har Rai & Nanakshahi New Year Day
Chet 6 March 19 Guru Hargobind left this world
Vaisakh 3 April 16 Guru Angad Dev left this world
Accession of Guru Amar Das
Guru Harkrishan left this world
Accession of Guru Tegh Bahadur
Vaisakh 5 April 18 Birth of Guru Angad Dev
Birth of Guru Tegh Bahadur
Vaisakh 19 May 2 Birth of Guru Arjan Dev
Jeth 9 May 23 Birth of Guru Amar Das
Jeth 28 June 11 Accession of Guru Hargobind
Jeth 19 June 1, 2014 Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, burnt alive at the stake. Kachi lassi (sweetened milk) is offered to the thirsty passers-by to commemorate his exit from this world.
Harh 21 July 5 Birth of Guru Hargobind
Sawan 8 July 23 Birth of Guru Harkrishan
Bhadon 17 September 1 Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of the Sikhs) in the Golden Temple by Guru Arjan Dev
Asu 2 September 16 Guru Amar Das left this world
Accession of Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das left this world
Accession of Guru Arjan Dev
Asu 4 September 18 Accession of Guru Angad Dev
Asu 8 September 22 Guru Nanak Dev left this world
Asu 25 October 9 Birth of Guru Ram Das
Katik 6 October 20 Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of the Sikhs) as eternal Guru. October 25, 2014.
Guru Har Rai left this world
Accession of Guru Harkrishan
Katik 12 October 28, 2014 Martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded.
Maghar 11 November 24 Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, beheaded in Delhi by the Moghul emperor.
Accession of Guru Gobind Singh
Poh 13 December 28, 2014. Birth of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna. He created the Khalsa (Sikh Brotherhood) and made it mandatory for them to have the five Ks - Kesh (hair), Kripan (dagger), Kada (bracelet), Kangha (comb) and Kachcha (underwear). During his time the warrior/yogi Maadhav Das, later known as Banda Bairagi successfully fought the Moghuls and finally died a martyr. Gobind Singh was a poet and archer and knew Persian, Arabic and Punjabi as well as Samskrit and Hindi,
Magh 19 January 31 Birth of Guru Har Rai
Other Observances
Vaisakh 1 April 14 The Creation of the Khalsa (Sikh brotherhood, "the pure")
Poh 8 December 21 Martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh's Elder Sons, Ajit and Jujhar
Poh 13 December 26 Martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh's Younger Sons

Sikh Events By Guru
Guru Parkash
(Birthday)
Gur Ghaddhi
(Guruship)
Jyoti Jot
(
left this world)
1st Guru Nanak Dev Katik Pooranmashi from Parkash Asu 8
September 22
2nd Guru Angad Dev Vaisakh 5
April 18
Asu 4
September 18
Vaisakh 3
April 16
3rd Guru Amar Das Jeth 9
May 23
Vaisakh 3
April 16
Asu 2
September 16
4th Guru Ram Das Asu 25
October 9
Asu 2
September 16
Asu 2
September 16
5th Guru Arjan Dev Vaisakh 19
May 2
Asu 2
September 16
Jeth 19
June 1
6th Guru Hargobind Harh 21
July 5
Jeth 28
June 11
Chet 6
March 19
7th Guru Har Rai Magh 19
January 31
Chet 1
March 14
Katik 6
October 20
8th Guru Harkrishan Sawan 8
July 23
Katik 6
October 20
Vaisakh 3
April 16
9th Guru Tegh Bahadur Vaisakh 5
April 18
Vaisakh 3
April 16
Maghar 11
November 24
10th Guru Gobind Singh Poh 13
December 28, 2014
Maghar 11
November 24
Katik 12
October 28
Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib
in the Golden Temple by Guru Arjan Dev
Bhadon 17
September 1
Katik 6
October 20

Other Important Days

Chet
1 Chet / 14 March - Nanakshahi New Year Day
2 Chet / 15 March - S. Baghel Singh's conquest of Delhi
12 Chet / 25 March - Shaheedi Bhai Subeg Singh, Bhai Shahbaz Singh
27 Chet / 9 April - Birthday Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Ji

Vaisakh
1 Vaisakh / 14 April (Vaisakhi) - Birth Anniversary of Khalsa

Jeth
3 Jeth / 17 May - Chhota Ghallughara
21 Jeth / 4 June - 1984 Ghallughara (Attack on Sri Akal Takht Sahib)
23 Jeth / 6 June - Shaheedi Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Ji

Harh
11 Harh / 25 June - Shaheedi Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur
15 Harh / 29 June - Barsi Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji
25 Harh / 9 July - Shaheedi Bhai Mani Singh Ji

Sawan
1 Sawan / 16 July - Shaheedi Bhai Taru Singh Ji
24 Sawan / 8 August - Morcha Guru Ka Bagh

Bhadon
15 Bhadon / 30 August 2004 - Mela Baba Bakala

Assu
17 Assu / 1 October - Foundation Day Singh Sabha
21 Assu / 5 October - Mela Beerh Baba Buddha Ji

Katik
8 Katik / 22 October 2004 - Khalsa Darbar
14 Katik / 28 October - Foundation Day Chief Khalsa Diwan
14 Katik / 28 October - Saka Panja Sahib
18 Katik / 1 November - Punjabi Suba Day
30 Katik / 13 November - Shaheedi Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed

Maghar
1 Maghar / 14 November - Foundation Day SGPC
11 Maghar / 24 November - Shaheedi Bhai Mati Das Ji, and Bhai Sati Das Ji
15 Maghar / 28 November - Birthday Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji
19 Maghar / 2 December - Shaheedi Baba Gurbakhsh Singh Ji
29 Maghar / 12 December - Birthday Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji
30 Maghar / 13 December - Foundation Day Shromani Akali Dal

Poh
8 Poh / 21 December - Shaheedi Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh , and other Shaheeds of Chamkaur Sahib ---- 300th Anniversary
8 Poh / 21 December - Shaheedi Baba Jeevan Singh Ji
13 Poh / 26 December - Shaheedi Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, Sahibzada Fateh Singh, and Mata Gujri Ji's passing away ---- 300th Anniversary


Magh
1 Magh / 13 January - Mela Maghi Muktsar
1 Magh / 13 January - Foundation Day Sri Harimandar Sahib
7 Magh / 19 January - Morcha for Keys
25 Magh / 6 February - Mela Kottha Sahib
27 Magh / 8 February - Great Holocast
30 Magh / 11 February - Birthday Sahibzada Ajit Singh Ji

Phagun
10 Phagun / 21 February - Saka Nankana Sahib
10 Phagun / 21 February - Jaito Morcha

Movable Dates (Change Every Year)

Hola Mohalla Bandi Chhor Divas Parkash Guru Nanak Sahib
2003 19 Mar 25 Oct 8 Nov
2004 7 Mar 12 Nov 26 Nov
2005 26 Mar 1 Nov 15 Nov
2006 15 Mar 21 Oct 5 Nov
2007 4 Mar 9 Nov 24 Nov
2008 22 Mar 28 Oct 13 Nov
2009 11 Mar 17 Oct 2 Nov
2010 1 Mar 5 Nov 21 Nov
2011 20 Mar 26 Oct 10 Nov
2012 9 Mar 13 Nov 28 Nov
2013 28 Mar 3 Nov 17 Nov
2014 17 Mar 23 Oct 6 Nov
2015 6 Mar 11 Nov 25 Nov
2016 24 Mar 30 Oct 14 Nov
2017 13 Mar 19 Oct 4 Nov
2018 2 Mar 7 Nov 23 Nov
2019 21 Mar 27 Oct 12 Nov
2020 10 Mar 14 Nov 30 Nov

Notes: 1. All the dates given above are fixed, so that the Gurpurbs shall always fall on the same date of the CE calendar and Nanakshahi calendar. According to Hindu calendar there will be two Parkash Purbs of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in 2003 CE. *2. The Calendar Committee of the SGPC in their meeting of 30 June, 1999 decided that Hola Muhalla, Bandi Chhor Divas, and the Birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib, shall continue to be celebrated according to the existing practice for the time being.

Information courtesy of www.sikhworld.co.uk/page19.html

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