Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day in India
Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day is a significant event commemorated in India to honor the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. This day is observed as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur and is an important occasion for the Sikh community in the country. The date of the event varies according to the lunar calendar; it usually falls in November or December based on the Gregorian calendar.
Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day has been celebrated since the 17th century to remember the sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who was martyred on November 24, 1675. He was publicly executed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam and defending the religious rights of Hindus and Sikhs. His martyrdom is considered a symbol of courage, righteousness, and the importance of standing up for one's beliefs.
National customs for Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day in India
On Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day, various events and activities are organized across India, particularly in the Sikh community. People visit Gurdwaras, the Sikh places of worship, to attend prayers and pay their respects to Guru Tegh Bahadur. The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, is read continuously in the Gurdwaras during this time.
Special hymns called "Shabads" are sung in honor of Guru Tegh Bahadur's bravery and sacrifice. People also distribute free food, known as "Langar," to the visitors at Gurdwaras, irrespective of their religion or social status. This act of selfless service (Seva) is a vital part of Sikhism.
Local customs for Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day in India
Local customs for Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day depend on the region and the specific Gurdwara. In some areas, processions are organized where devotees carry the Guru Granth Sahib and the Sikh flag, called the "Nishan Sahib," while singing hymns and reciting prayers. In Delhi, the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, which marks the site of Guru Tegh Bahadur's execution, holds special significance on this day. Devotees from all over the country visit this sacred place to pay their respects and participate in the various religious activities organized there.
Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom Day is a solemn occasion in India, where people remember the ultimate sacrifice made by the ninth Sikh Guru for the sake of religious freedom and human rights. It serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up for one's beliefs and the values of tolerance, compassion, and selflessness that are at the core of Sikhism. The day is marked by prayers, hymns, and acts of charity, as people come together to honor the memory of Guru Tegh Bahadur and his unwavering commitment to righteousness.