For all of our Sikh brothers and sisters, best wishes on the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, celebrated on November 2.
Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak, and present day Sikhism is still based on his teachings and those of the nine Sikh Gurus who followed him.
Gurpurbs are Sikh festivals which celebrate the lives of these Gurus. Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in what is now Pakistan. At the age of 30 he mysteriously disappeared for 3 days. When he reappeared, he began to preach the Sikh faith and spent the rest of his life teaching, writing and travelling around the world to discuss religion with Muslims and Hindus.
Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak’s Birthday and the other Gurpurbs with an Akhand Path, a reading of the Sikh holy scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib, continuously from beginning to end. This is done by a team of Sikh men and women, each reading for 2-3 hours over 48 hours, beginning two days before and ending early on the morning of the birthday.
On the day before the birthday, processions are held in India and in some parts of England. These are led by five people representing the original Panj Piare (Five Beloved Ones) and followed by singers, musicians and even teams of people demonstrating martial arts.