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Vaisakhi (IAST: visākhī), also known as Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vaisakhi is a historical and religious festival in Sikhism. It is usually celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year.
Vaisakhi marks the Punjabi new year. It also marks the Sikh new year (Khalsa era) which commemorates the formation of Khalsa Panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. It is additionally a spring harvest festival for the Sikhs.
Vaisakhi observes major events in the history of Sikhism and the Indian subcontinent that happened in the Punjab region. The significance of Vaisakhi as a major Sikh festival marking the birth of Sikh order started after the persecution and execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur for refusing to convert to Islam under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
This triggered the coronation of the tenth Guru of Sikhism and the historical formation of Khalsa, both on the Vaisakhi day. Vaisakhi was also the day when colonial British empire officials committed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on a gathering, an event influential to the Indian movement against colonial rule.
On Vaisakhi, Gurdwaras are decorated and hold kirtans, Sikhs visit and bathe in lakes or rivers before visiting local Gurdwaras, community fairs and Nagar kirtan processions are held, and people gather to socialize and share festive foods. For many Hindus, the festival is their traditional solar new year, a harvest festival, an occasion to bathe in sacred rivers such as Ganges, Jhelum and Kaveri, visit temples, meet friends and party over festive foods. This festival in Hinduism is known by various regional names.