Celebrations and Festivals

Gur Parv -- the significance and the rituals

Canisha Kapoor
All age groups

Created by Canisha Kapoor
Updated on Nov 04, 2017

Gur Parv the significance and the rituals

Commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev – Gur Parv is one of the most auspicious celebrations in the Sikh community. So why is Gur Parv so important to the Sikh community, what is the significance, festivities and rituals on this occasion is what we will read here.

What Is Gur Parv or Gurpurb?

Gurpurb or Gur Parv are essentially festivals associated with the lives of Gurus. Literally Gur means guru and Parv means tyohar in Hindi and festival in English. Gurpurb is an occasion when the Sikh community come together to celebrate the life and teachings of the prominent gurus like the birthday of Guru Nanak – founder of Sikhism.

Why Is Guru Nanak Gur Parv Celebrated?

Guru Nanak Gur Parv is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Guru Nanak Devji – the first guru of Sikh and the founder of Sikhism. It is also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Jayanti. Since Guru Nanak ji was the first guru and founder of Sikhism this festival is of prime importance to the Sikh community all over the world. The devotees start the celebrations three days prior to the actual birthday, clean their homes and light earthen lamps to commemorate the birth anniversary of their beloved guru.

When Is Gurpurab Celebrated?

While Guru Nanakji was born in April, Gurpurab is celebrated in November according to the lunar calendar. The date varies every year depending on what date is the kartik poornima – hence the name Guru Nanak’s Prakash utsav.

Gurupurav

What Are The Basic Celebrations On Gur Parv?

The festivities last for three days and include Prabhat Pheris, hymns singing, and Akhand path (a non-stop reading of Guru Granth sahib for 48 hours, generally beginning two days prior to the birthday, is held in gurdwaras). Generally the celebrations begin two days before the actual birthday. The celebrations begin with the Akhand Path followed by Prabhat Pheris, which is lead by the Five Beloved Ones carrying the Sikh flag.

The entire street through which the procession goes is decorated with fresh flowers, Nishan sahib or Sikh flag, with drummers playing different tunes and leaders educating the general public about the teachings of Guru Nanakji.

What Is Prabhat Pheris And What Is Its Significance?

Prabhat Pheris means early morning processions. Prabhat means morning and Pheris means going around something. So prabhat pheris are actually early morning processions that start from a gurdwaras and moves towards the localities. The procession has devotees singing hymns. The pheris are generally led by Panj Pyaras or the Five Beloved Ones selected by the Gurdwara. These five people lead the pheris and carry the Nishan Sahib – the Sikh Flag and the palki or palanquin of Guru Granth Sahib. This type of celebration is known as nagarkirtan. The entire procession is followed by singers singing hymns, and devotees chiming in the chorus. The entire celebration creates a mystic aura in the environment where only the light of truth prevails.

How Is Gur Parv Celebrated At Homes?

The entire family wakes up, take a bath and the ladies of the house make kada Prasad – which is essentially aatta halwa. Then prayers are offered to the Guru Granth Sahib seeking blessings for the entire family and the community. Devotees also have free langar stalls wherein they serve chhabeel along with lunch and Prasad.

When Is Gur Parv In 2017 And What Is The Date Next Year?

Considering the fact that the dates of Gur Parv are based on the lunar calendar the dates vary a lot though the month remains November. So in 2017 Guru Parv is on 4th November and next year it will fall on 23rd November.

Did you like the blog on Gur Parv? How do you celebrate Gur Purab? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.

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| Jan 02, 2018

Awesome read.

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| Nov 10, 2017

very well describe everything

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| Nov 04, 2017

happy GurParv to all!! thanks for the comprehensive explanation of this festival ! it is indeed an excellent description. thanks for sharing!!!

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