Thursday, November 23, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

The Sikh Calendar

Until the 13th of March, 1998, the Sikhs used a Hindu lunar calendar to determine their feast days. They now use their own Nanakshahi calendar which started on 14 March 1999 Gregorian (1 Chet 531 Nanakshahi ) and aligns with the Gregorian calendar as follows. The era (1 Chet 1 Nanakshahi) is the date of the birth of the 1st Guru, Nanak Dev, in the Punjab in 1469. Although there is an obvious relationship with the Hindu Solar Calendar, the Sikh Organization states that these dates are fixed relative to the Gregorian Calendar.


Baramaha is the name of composition in Sri Guru Granth Sahib which mention the twelve months (Indian names of the months) in a Calender year. Famous Baramaha composed by guru Arjan Dev Ji in Rag Majh is generally read in Gurudwaras on the day of Sangrand. Guru NanakDev Ji also composed Baramaha in Reg Tukhari.

Baramaha is a form of folk poetry in which the emotions and yearnings of the human heart are expressed in terms of changing moods of Nature over the twelve months period.

Sikh Month Begins
Chet March 14
Vaisakh April 14
Jeth May 15
Harh June 15
Sawan July 16
Bhadon August 16
Sikh Month Begins
Asu September 15
Katik October 15
Maghar November 14
Poh December 14
Magh January 13
Phagan February 12


The Nanakshahi calendar is used for all the Gurupurabs (festivals marking events in the lives of the Gurus) except the birthday of Guru Nanak which continues to be celebrated according to the Hindu Lunar calendar on Katik Poornamashi. Events such as Maghi and Hola Mohalla continue to be celebrated according to the relevant calendars. Some Gurupurabs are considered more significant that others. These are the ones that commonly appear as holidays and are marked in bold type.

Gurpurabs mark the culmination of Prabhat Pheris, the early morning religious procession which goes around the localities singing shabads (hymns). These pheris generally start three weeks before the festival. Devotees offer sweets and tea when the procession passes their homes. The celebrations start with the three-day akhand path, in which the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) is read continuously from beginning to end without a break. The conclusion of the reading coincides with the day of the festival. The Granth Sahib is also carried in procession on a float decorated with flowers throughout the village or city. Five armed guards, who represent the Panj Pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands play religious music and marching schoolchildren form a special part of the procession. Free sweets and langar (community lunches) are also offered to everyone irrespective of religious faith. Local volunteers serve it with a spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion). Sikhs visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) where special programmes are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) sung. Houses and gurdwaras are lit up to add to the festivities.

Nanakshahi Calendar (Fixed dates)Gurpurabs
Calendar Year
Gurpurb / Festival Guru Sahib / Festival Nanakshahi CE
Parkash Utsav Guru Gobind Singh Sahib
23 Poh 5 Jan
Parkash Utsav Guru Har Rai Sahib 19 Magh 31 Jan
Gurgadi Guru Har Rai Sahib 1 Chet 14 Mar
Nanakshahi New Year Nanakshahi Era 535 commences 1 Chet 14 Mar
Hola Muhalla Hola Muhalla Nanakshahi* 1 Chet 14 Mar
Jotijot Guru Hargobind Sahib 6 Chet 19 Mar
Parkash Guru Nanak Sahib * 1 Vaisakh 14 Apr
Khalsa Day - Vaisakhi Khalsa Panth Creation anniversary 1 Vaisakh 14 Apr
Jotijot Guru Angad Sahib 3 Vaisakh 16 Apr
Gurgadi Guru Amar Das Sahib 3 Vaisakh 16 Apr
Jotijot Guru Harkrishan Sahib 3 Vaisakh 16 Apr
Gurgadi Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib 3 Vaisakh 16 Apr
Parkash Guru Angad Sahib 5 Vaisakh 18 Apr
Parkash Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib 5 Vaisakh 18 Apr
Parkash Guru Arjun Sahib 19 Vaisakh 2 May
Parkash Guru Amar Das Sahib 9 Jeth 23 May
Gurgadi Guru Hargobind Sahib 28 Jeth 11 Jun
Martyrdom Guru Arjun Sahib 2 Harh 16 Jun
Parkash Guru Hargobind Sahib 21 Harh 5 Jul
Miri-Piri Day Guru Hargobind Sahib 6 Sawan 21Jul
Parkash Guru Harkrishan Sahib 8 Sawan 23Jul
First Parkash Guru Granth Sahib 17 Bhadon 1 Sep
Jotijot Guru Amar Das Sahib 2 Asu 16 Sep
Gurgadi Guru Ramdas Sahib 2 Asu 16 Sep
Jotijot Guru Ramdas Sahib 2 Asu 16 Sep
Gurgadi Guru Arjun Sahib 2 Asu 16 Sep
Gurgadi Guru Angad Sahib 4 Asu 18Sep
Jotijot Guru Nanak Sahib 8Asu 22 Sep
Parkash Guru Ramdas Sahib 25 Asu 9 Oct
Jotijot Guru Har Rai Sahib 6 Katik 20 Oct
Gurgadi Guru Harkrishan Sahib 6 Katik 20 Oct
Gurgadi Guru Granth Sahib 6 Katik 20 Oct
Jotijot Guru Gobind Singh Sahib 7Katik 21 Oct
Gurgadi Guru Gobind Singh Sahib 11 Maghar 24 Nov
Martyrdom Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib 11 Maghar 24 Nov
Martyrdom Elder Sahibzadas 8 Poh 21 Dec
Martyrdom Younger Sahibzadas 13 Poh 26 Dec
Movable Dates (Change Every Year)
Hola Mohalla Bandi Chhor Divas Parkash Guru Nanak Sahib
2003 19 Mar 25 Oct 8 Nov
2004 7 Mar 12 Nov 26 Nov
2005 26 Mar 1 Nov 15 Nov
2006 15 Mar 21 Oct 5 Nov
2007 4 Mar 9 Nov 24 Nov
2008 22 Mar 28 Oct 13 Nov will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
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