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Celebration of Baisakhi Festival starts

Indian Sikhs arrive in Pakistan to participate in festivity to mark start of spring harvest season

The historic and religious festival of Baisakhi started in Punjab on Tuesday and the celebrations will continue for a week till April 30.

The first batch of Sikh Yatrees (pilgrims) arrived in Lahore via Wagah Border to participate in the festivities. They were welcomed by the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board and Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee.

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Pakistan has issued visas to 2,200 Sikh pilgrims from India and their arrival will continue during next couple of days. High security arrangements were made for the guests.

Marked as the first day of the month of Vaisakh (Hindi calendar), the Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is traditionally celebrated annually on April 13. In northern India and eastern Pakistan, and particularly on both sides of Punjab, Baisakhi is a celebration of spring harvest. It has special significance in Sikh religion whose followers mark it as the start of a new year.

The event commemorates the formation of Khalsa Panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Since Pakistan is home to hundreds of sacred sites and Gurdwaras of Sikh religion including Nankana Sahib – the birthplace of founder of Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Devji – the Sikhs from around the world including India celebrate the event here.

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Both countries operate special trains to facilitate the pilgrims on Baisakhi and other religious events. Sikhs will visit Gurdwaras in Punjab’s districts of Narowal, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib and Lahore during their week-long stay in Pakistan.

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