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Baisakhi marks birth of the Khalsa way of living in the Sikh religion. and commemorates the formation of Khalsa panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. It is additionally a spring harvest festival for the Sikhs. Baisakhi is also an ancient festival of Punjabis, marking the Solar New Year and also celebrating the spring harvest. It is regionally known by many names, but celebrated in broadly similar ways by some Hindus and Punjabis.
Baisakhi observes major events in the history of Sikhism and the Indian subcontinent that happened in the Punjab region. The significance of Baisakhi as a major Sikh festival marking the birth of Sikh order started after the persecution and execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur for refusing to convert to Islam under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This triggered the coronation of the tenth Guru of Sikhism and the historic formation of Khalsa, both on the Baisakhi day. Baisakhi was also the day when colonial British empire officials committed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on a gathering, an event influential to the Indian movement against colonial rule.
On Baisakhi, Gurdwaras are decorated and hold kirtans, Sikhs visit and bathe in lakes or rivers before visiting local Gurdwaras, community fairs and nagar kirtan processions are held, and people gather to socialise and share festive foods. For people of Punjab, the festival is their traditional solar new year, a harvest festival and they may visit temples, meet friends and party over festive foods.
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