THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10: While Hindus and Jains in India are busy celebrating Katik Poornima, the Sikhs of India—as well as Sikhs worldwide—mark a coinciding Gurpurab, or Guru Nanak’s birthday. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first Sikh Guru and the founder of Sikhism. (Wikipedia has details.) Born in present-day Pakistan in 1469, Guru Nanak focused his life on prayer and meditation, despite his parents’ wishes that he tend to the land. Sikhs honor all 10 Gurus’ birthdays, but Guru Nanak’s is one of the most sacred.
All Sikh Gurpurabs, or Guru birthdays (also known as jayantis), are marked with a 48-hour reading of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scriptures) and followed by morning services. Hymns are sung, poems are read and all give praise for Guru Nanak Dev Ji. (Get a full perspective from the Times of India.) After the services, a free community lunch is provided so that everyone present can be “offered food in the spirit of service and devotion.”