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Guru Govind Singh Jayanti in India

Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti (also spelled Govind Singh) is a Sikh festival that commemorates the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. It is a religious celebration in which prayers for prosperity are offered.

Is Guru Govind Singh Jayanti a Public Holiday?

Guru Govind Singh Jayanti is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Many Sikhs go to the temple during the celebration of the Guru's birthday.

©iStockphoto.com/traveler1116

Celebrate the Day

It is common for large processions to go through markets in India on Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti. People sing devotional songs during the procession and share sweets and a cold drink or a sharbat among the adults and children. There are also special prayer gatherings that are held at places of worship known as Gurudwaras.

Historical lectures are conducted and poems recited as part of praising the Guru on his birthday. Special dishes that are unique to this occasion are prepared and served during the festivities.

What's Open or Closed?

Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti is a restricted holiday so government institutions and offices remain open as well as businesses, banks, and public transportation services. These openings depend on where one lives and the services' proximity to the festivities. Some schools remain open, depending on their religious observance.

About the Day

Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the 10th Sikh Guru of Nanak. He was born at Patna, Bihar, India, on December 22, 1666. His birthday sometimes falls either in December or January or even both months in the Gregorian calendar. The annual celebration of the Guru's birthday is based on the Nanakshahi calendar.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who gave his life to protect religious freedom. He succeeded his father when he became a Guru at nine years of age. Guru Gobind Singh Ji's teachings have a big impact on Sikhs. In his lifetime, he stood against the Mughal Rulers and fought against injustice. In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji took five men from the lower caste of society and baptized them as His Five Beloveds, endowing them with great courage and a devotion to God. It was his dedication to God, his fearlessness and his desire to protect the people from being oppressed that led Guru Gobind Singh Ji to establish the Khalsa, a military force of saint-soldiers which he baptized.

Under Guru Gobind Singh Ji's guidance and inspiration, the Khalsa followed a strict moral code and spiritual discipline. It was through his courage that the people rose against the oppression of the Mughal ruler in India at the time. Aside from being a spiritual and a military leader Guru Gobind Singh Ji was also a gifted writer who penned a large body of literary work. Before his death in 1708, he declared the Guru Granth Sahib, which is Sikhism's Holy Scripture to be the permanent Sikh Guru.

Guru Govind Singh Jayanti Observances

Holiday currently only shown for years 2015–2020.

Note: Individuals can take a limited number of restricted holidays but government offices and most businesses remain open. This system gives individuals the flexibility to take time off to celebrate a holiday within India's vast religious and cultural society.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015MonJan 5Guru Govind Singh JayantiRestricted Holiday
2016SatJan 16Guru Govind Singh JayantiRestricted Holiday
2017ThuJan 5Guru Govind Singh JayantiRestricted Holiday
2017MonDec 25Guru Govind Singh JayantiObservance
2019SunJan 13Guru Govind Singh JayantiRestricted Holiday
2020ThuJan 2Guru Govind Singh JayantiRestricted Holiday

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