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A Gurpurab is a celebration or commemoration based on the lives of one of the Sikh gurus. They tend to be either birthdays or celebrations of Sikh martyrdom.

A Sikh festival or special day is called Gurpurb, meaning "Guru's remembrance day". The celebration is generally similar for all Gurpurabs; only the hymns and history of a particular occasion is different. The ceremony for Guru Nanak's birthday, Guru Nanak Jayanti is described in detail.

Gurpurab of Guru Nanak

The birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, usually comes in the month of November, but the date varies from year to year according to the lunar Indian calendar. The birthday celebrations last three days. Generally two days before the birthday, Akhand Path is performed in the Gurdwaras. One day before the birthday, a procession is organised which is led by the Panj Piare and the Palki (Palanquin) of Guru Granth Sahib and followed by teams of singers singing hymns, brass bands playing different tunes, 'Gatka' (martial art) teams show their swordsmanship, and processionists singing the chorus. The procession passes through the main roads and streets of the town which are covered with buntings and decorated gates and the leaders inform the people of the message of Guru Nanak. On the anniversary day, the programme begins early in the morning at about 4 or 5 am with the singing of Asa-di-Var (morning hymns) and hymns from the Sikh scriptures followed by Katha (exposition of the scripture)...
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