Baisakhi fair: Thanking one God for His bounty
The Baisakhi festival during spring give Muslims and Sikhs a chance to dance, eat and celebrate - together.
As a child, I attended the Baisakhi fair many times. The sound of the beat of the huge dhol echo in my memory. I can picture the ancient ‘well of death’. Visions of the bright circus and toy shops come flooding back to me. I can almost taste the unique sweetness of the jalaibis, and the spicy taste of pakoras.
Last year I visited the fair after all these years and relived childhood memories.
Looking back, I am amazed at the scale of the three-day festival marking the harvest time of the rabi (winter) crops. It is celebrated as a harvest festival by the large farming community in the Punjab. Sikh yatrees from all over the world, especially from India and Canada, visit Pakistan to celebrate every year.
Farmers offer thanks to Almighty God for a bountiful harvest and pray for prosperity. Muslims and Sikhs come together, regardless of community. The festival has tremendous religious significance for the Sikh community, since it was on this day in 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh - the revered tenth guru of Sikhs - laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth.
The Baisakhi fair at Aimanabad near Gujranwala is famous for its colourful celebrations all over the world.
At this time, the farmers are loaded with cash and energy, and are in full spirits. They enjoy the fruit of their hard work by celebrating this event.
Another major attraction is the performance of the bhangra and gidda dance by men and women respectively. This popular traditional folk dance is performed in groups to the fast beat of the dhol.
Dancers perform every day farming activities of sowing, harvesting and gathering crops through enthusiastic movements to the sound of ballads.
People shop and eating different kinds of Punjabi food from stalls.
This fair brings an opportunity to spread love and peace between the people of different religions. Together, they thank God for His blessings and celebrate this seasonal fair with love and gratitude.