Guru Nanak Jayanti: #1 Best Way To Celebrate Gurpurab

Guru Nanak Jayanti

The word Gurpurab reminds me of those chilly winter mornings during my childhood when my grandfather would wake up me and my siblings at the break of dawn and take us all to participate in the prabhaat pheri (morning procession). We would sing hymns while walking in the group and end the procession at the neighborhood Gurudwara (Sikh temple). Another name for this prominent Sikh festival is Guru Nanak Jayanti which means Guru Nanak’s birthday.

And just like me and my family, many other non-Sikhs or non-Punjabi speaking people from our Delhi neighborhood would also participate in these morning processions and wrap it up by visiting the Gurudwara – the Guru’s doorstep – always open to all sentient beings irrespective of their race, religion, and ethnicity.

In this blog post, let’s understand the importance of this day in Sikhism and the Punjabi greeting phrases that are used to celebrate this significant festival.

Guru Nanak Jayanti: Celebrating The First Sikh Guru

Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Gurpurab, resonates as one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism. It is a celebration of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru.

Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav is another name for his birth anniversary. Falling on the Kartik Purnima (full moon day) according to the Hindu or Punjabi calendar, which typically aligns in November as per the Gregorian calendar, this day sees a vibrant celebration among the Sikh community globally. This year, it is celebrated on November 27th.

Moreover, Guru Nanak was born in Rai Bhoi di Talwandi (now Nankana Sahib, Pakistan). That’s why Nankana Sahib holds immense historical and spiritual significance among Sikhs. Pilgrims from across the globe visit this sacred site, especially during Guru Nanak Jayanti, to pay homage to the great spiritual leader.

Punjabi Greetings For Gurpurab

The following Punjabi greetings reflect the essence of Gurpurab, focusing on spiritual blessings, the teachings of Guru Nanak, and the values of Sikhism. They are often used in personal interactions, greetings cards, and social media messages during the Gurpurab festival. You can find similar greetings, words and phrases on the Ling app.

EnglishPunjabiRomanized Punjabi
Happy Gurpurab/ Many congratulations for Gurpurab!ਗੁਰਪੁਰਬ ਦੀਆਂ ਲਖ ਲਖ ਵਧਾਈਆਂ!Gurpuraba dī’āṁ lakha lakha vadhā’ī’āṁ!
Hail Guru’s Khalsa brotherhood,
Hail Guru’s victory
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਿਹVāhigurū jī kā khālasā, vāhigurū jī kī fatēh
Guru’s name is the eternal truthਸਤਨਾਮ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ Satanāma śrī vāhigurū
Nanak, with your name comes prosperity and with your blessing, peace for everyoneਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਚੜਦੀ ਕਲਾ, ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ!Nānaka nāma caṛadī kalā, tērē bhāṇē sarabata dā bhalā!
The name of Nanak is a ship, whoever ascends it, gets awakening, those who serve with faith, the Guru brings them deliveranceਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਜਹਾਜ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਚੜ੍ਹੇ ਸੋ ਉਤਰੇ ਪਾਰ, ਜੋ ਸ਼ਰਧਾ ਕਰ ਸੇਂਵਦੇ, ਗੁਰ ਪਾਰ ਉਤਾਰਣ ਹਾਰNānaka nāma jahāja hai, jō caṛhē sō utarē pāra, jō śaradhā kara sēnvadē, gura pāra utāraṇa hāra

The Essence Of Guru Nanak’s Teachings

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, revered not only in Sikhism but across various cultures prevalent in India, was a spiritual teacher whose life and teachings form the core of Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.

His profound teachings laid the foundation for the Sikh religion, emphasizing unity, selfless service, and spiritual growth. These teachings, encapsulated in 974 hymns, emphasize the importance of Ek Onkar – the One Supreme Reality. As a guiding light for Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s principles continue to inspire millions worldwide.

Guru Nanak Jayanti

The Sikh Gurus: The Legacy Of Ten

Following Guru Nanak were nine more Gurus, each contributing to the Sikh tradition. The teachings of all these Sikh Gurus are compiled in the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib. Hence, for the Sikh people, the holy book is considered the eternal Guru in Sikhism.

Moreover, any discussion of Gurpurab is incomplete without the mention of the Panj Pyare, or the ‘Five Beloved Ones’. These were the first five disciples initiated into Sikhism by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. This initiation marked the birth of the Khalsa, a brotherhood of devoted Sikhs.

Theirs’ is a story of a powerful embodiment of courage, commitment, and the willingness to sacrifice everything for one’s faith and principles. Their legacy is commemorated during Guru Nanak Jayanti, reflecting the deep-rooted values of bravery, equality, and fidelity in Sikhism.

Sikh Traditions & Rituals

The festivities begin two days prior with the Akhand Path, a continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib. This 48-hour non-stop recitation reflects the Sikh community’s devotion and respect for their holy book.

On the day of Nanak Jayanti, devotees sing Gurbani in Gurudwaras and take part in Prabhat Pheris (early morning processions). The Golden Temple in Amritsar, a significant site for Sikhs, witnesses a particularly magnificent celebration.

Did you know that the kitchen of Golden Temple feeds 100,000 people per day, free of cost? That’s because central to the celebration of Guru Nanak Jayanti is the practice of Langar, a communal kitchen where food is served for free to all, irrespective of religion or background. This tradition, started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, embodies the spirit of selfless service and community bonding.

Interestingly, martial arts also form a part of the Sikh tradition, a testament to the community’s history and its emphasis on physical strength and defense skills. Celebrations of Gurpurab sometimes include displays of martial arts, known as Gatka, symbolizing the Sikh spirit of bravery and self-defense.

Guru Nanak Jayanti

Guru Nanak’s Legacy In Contemporary Times

In today’s world, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message of unity, compassion, and equality holds more relevance than ever. His teachings encourage us to transcend communal barriers and embrace humanity as one.

The life and teachings of Guru Nanak continue to inspire the Sikh community and others around the world. Celebrating his birth anniversary is not just a remembrance of his life but a reaffirmation of the values he stood for.


Guru Nanak Jayanti is not merely a day on the calendar. In fact, it is a moment of introspection, celebration, and spiritual renewal. It’s a day when the moon’s glow seems to echo the enlightenment that Guru Nanak brought into this world – to embrace universal brotherhood and serve all creations of God. As Sikhs across the globe celebrate this auspicious day, the essence of Guru Nanak’s teachings – love, equality, and compassion – continue to resonate in hearts and actions, transcending time and borders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.