Penang's Little India centre of Chittirai Puthandu, Vishu preparations as Vaisakhi festivities in full swing

GEORGE TOWN: Festivities are in full swing in most of Penang’s gurdwara for Vaisakhi on Saturday (April 13), which is celebrated by Sikhs commemorating the spring harvest festival and the birth of the Khalsa order by the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Simultaneously, the Tamil and Malayalee communities are busy with final preparations to usher in their respective new years, Chittirai Puttandu and Vishu on Sunday (April 14), which will be celebrated on a grand scale nationwide.

A survey by Bernama at Little India in Lebuh Pasar found crowds of both communities buying flowers, fruits, and prayer items since Saturday morning.

K.Unnamalai, 45, who celebrates Chittirai Puthandu expressed her happiness because the celebration falls on the weekend, making it easier to make final preparations.

"Every year I have to rush after work to buy flowers, prayer items, and vegetables. But this year it is much more relaxed and I can take my sweet time,” she told Bernama in Little India.

N.Sutha Nair, 30, shared that it is best to buy fresh vegetables the day before Vishu to prepare vegetarian meals and for the Vishukkani, which is an offering of auspicious items.

Malaysian Hindu Sangam president T. Ganesan explained that this year's Tamil New Year is known as the 'Krodhi' year and the auspicious period begins at 10.50pm on April 13, coinciding with the first day of the Chittirai month (the first month of the Tamil solar calendar on April 14).

Vishu marks the first day of the Zodiac New Year, the first day of the month called Medam, according to the official panjangam (almanac) of Sri Guruvayoorappan Devaswom Kerala; Kerala Mathrubumi Panjangam; Kerala Valya Panjangam and Kerala Manorama Panjangam.

Meanwhile, Gurdwara Sahib Bayan Baru’s deputy president Manjeet Singh told Bernama that the gurdwara had started Sri Akhand Path, the non-stop recital of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji religious scripture for Vaisakhi at 4pm on Friday (April 11), which is expected to conclude at 4pm on Sunday (April 14).

"We are also having our Nishan Sahib Selami (the Khalsa flag-raising ceremony) at 5 pm today, followed by Naujawan Kirtan Darbar,” he said.

Manjeet highlighted that the gurdwara organised a blood donation campaign, health screening and talks in collaboration with the Malaysian Nurses Association Penang Branch, and a Gurbani Laptop Workshop for more than 100 people.

On Sunday, the Sikh community will celebrate the formation of the Khalsa - an embodiment of purity and strength within the Sikh faith-by Guru Gobind Singh on March 30, 1699.- Bernama

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