All About Important Life Events of Sikhism

All About Sikhism Customs and Ceremonies

Throughout life a Sikh is supported by the ideals of ethics, and the structure of moral conduct. Each stage of life involves customs and ceremonies centered in worship and remembrance of the divine, encouraging reliance on spiritual values to sustain the process of living. Important traditional Sikh ceremonies are addressed by the Sikhism code of conduct with emphasis on their spiritual value rather than ritual. All ceremonies customarily include kirtan, singing hymns, and verses read from Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy scripture.

All About Anand Karaj the Sikh Wedding Ceremony

Sikh father gives daughter in marriage on her wedding day.
Sikh Father Gives Daughter in Marriage. Photo © [Nirmaljot singh]

Sikh marriage is not merely a social and civil contract, but a spiritual process uniting two souls so that they become one inseparable entity. The Sikh wedding is a spiritual union between the couple and the divine. Anand Karaj, the Sikh wedding ceremony, fuses the light of the separate soul. The couple is reminded that the spiritual nature of family harmony is given emphasis by the example of the Sikh gurus, who themselves entered matrimony and had children.

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All About Janam Naam Sanskar Sikhism Baby Naming Ceremony

Grandfather Dedicates Newborn Grandchild to the Guru
Grandfather Dedicates Newborn Grandchild to the Guru. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Sikh baby names have spiritual meanings and are suitable for either boys or girls. Sikh names are bestowed upon newborns shortly after birth at the Janam Naam Sanskar ceremony. Spiritual Sikh names may also be given at the time of marriage, or at the time of initiation (baptism), and may taken on by any individual who wishes to have a spiritual name at any time.

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All About Dastar Bhandi or Rasam Pagri the Turban Tying Ceremony

Sikh Toddler Wearing Turban
Sikh Toddler Wearing Turban. Photo © [S Khalsa]

A turban covers hair which is to be kept intact from birth onward, is required wear for Sikh males, and maybe worn with or without a chunni by females. The turban tying ceremony known as Dastar Bhandi or Rasam Pagri may be performed any time from about age five through the teenage years. The child for whom a ceremony is held may have worn a simple patka previously. The ceremony emphasizes:

  • Coming of age
  • At the time of initiation
  • Be performed following death of a parent when an eldest son takes on responsibility as the head of the family.

The ceremony may not be performed when the child of a very devout family has worn a turban since infancy or as a toddler.

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All About Amrit Sanchar Sikh Baptism Ceremony and Initiation Rites

Amritsanchar Sikh Baptism Initiation Ceremony
Amritsanchar Sikh Baptism Initiation Ceremony. Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

Amrit Sanchar, The Sikh baptism ceremony originated with Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. The Panj Pyare, or five beloved ones, administer the Khalsa initiations rites. Initiates are required to wear five articles of faith, recite five prayers daily, and abstain from misconduct, or be liable for penance. Vasiakhi day is the anniversary of the first Amrit initiation ceremony and is celebrated by Sikhs world wide in mid April.

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All About Antam Sanskaar the Sikh Funeral Ceremony

Antam Sanskar Sikhism Funeral
Antam Sanskar Sikhism Funeral. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Antam Sanskaar, or funeral ceremony is a celebration of the completion of life. Sikhism emphasizes that death is a natural process, and an opportunity for reunion of the soul with its maker. Formal morning includes a complete reading of Sikh scripture over a ten day period followed by kirtan and cremation of remains.

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All About Kirtan Hymns and Blessings for Every Occasion

Singing kirtan in absolute adoration.
Singing kirtan in absolute adoration. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Kirtan is considered by Sikhs to be the highest form of adoration and praise. No Sikhism ceremony, event, or occasion is complete without the hymns sung from Sikhism's holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.

  • Hymns in Praise of Women
  • Hymns of the Sikh Wedding
  • Hymns of Hope and Blessings for a Child
  • Hymns of Encouragement During Hard Times
  • Hymns Sung in Praise of Khalsa Initiation
  • Hymns of Consolation for the Bereaved