More than 30,000 Sikh pilgrims celebrated the 313th festival of Besakhi on Thursday.
Men and women wore traditional costumes and jewellery connected to their religious traditions. Recital of passages from the Granth Sahib were organised in the gurdwara.
Besakhi is widely celebrated by Sikhs in Punjab, with festivities centred at the Panja Sahib complex in Hassan Abdal.
It is an ancient harvest festival which also marks the beginning of a new solar year and the new harvest season.
It is also one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699, by the 10th Sikh guru, Gobind Singh.
Thousands of Sikh pilgrims from India arrive each year to commemorate the day at the sacred Sikh sites of Nankana Sahib and Hasan Abdal. Muslims and Hindus also participate in celebrations.
According to pilgrims, “Pakistan is a sacred land where several religions prospered and such festivals are a source of creating interfaith harmony in this region and also a way of promoting religious tourism.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.