When is Guru Gobind Singh's Birthday?

Tenth Guru's Prakash

The birth of Prince Gobind Rai who grew up to be Tenth Guru Gobind Singh took place on the 23rd day of the month Poh, on 7 Sudi, or the 7th day of waxing moon, in the year 1723 of the Vikram Samvat (Bikram Sambat) calendar. The Western Julian calendar in use at the time determined his birth to be December 22, 1666. (Julian day 2329919.5) or January 1, 1667 CE / A.D. However the tenth guru's gurpurab is officially observed at the whim of fluctuating Vikram Samvant (Bikram Sambat) calendar used in India.

The birth of Tenth Guru Gobind Singh is known to Sikhs as Guru Gobind Singhs prakash, meaning "manifestation of spiritual light" and his birthday celebration is known as gurpurab, meaning "commemorating the guru."

Birthday celebrations of Guru Gobind's Singh Ji's prakash often involve a worship service which includes Rain sabaee kirtan, in which devotional hymns taken from Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism holy scripture, or hymns written by Guru Gobind Singh in his collection, the Dasam Granth are sung throughout the night.

1
Nanakshahi Calendar

In 1988 Pal Singh Purewal developed the Nanakshahi calendar whose months are named for those in scripture of Guru Granth Sahib. The Nanakshahi calendar which begins mid March was an attempt to fix gurpurab dates to the modern day Western Gregorian calendar and sparked ongoing controversy. Amendments were made to the Nanakshahi Calendar in 2003. For several years Guru Gobind Singh Ji's birth was fixed to be observed on January 6, however to allow for fluctuations in the Eastern calendar, several later revisions occurred which continue to foster debate.

2
2010

The 2010 Nanakshahi calendar amendment released by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) designated Guru Gobind Singh's prakash as January 5, 2010.

3
2011

The gurpurab date of Guru Gobind Singh's prakash was further amended by SGPC so that the tenth guru's birth was observed twice in first on Jan 11, 2011 and again December 31, 2011. The time difference between the East and West seemed to be a factor in specifying changes to gurpurab dates. With India hours ahead of the UK and USA (depending on location) nighttime celebrations in the West meant that Sikhs around the world could observe Guru Gobind Singh's gurpurab simultaneously, as happened on New Year's Eve December 31, 2011 in the USA, (which happened to be January 1, 2012 in India).

4
2012

According to SGPC Nanakshahi calendar, the tenth guru’s birthday did not occur officially at all in during 2012, though many Sikhs celebrated for sake of convenience on Sunday, January 1, or the following weekend.

5
2013

According to the Nanakshahi calendar released by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the official gurpurab date of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth prakash was given as January 18, 2013. Many Sikhs reverted to the 2010 revision date and celebrated the weekend of January 5 and 6.

6
2014

SGPC official gurpurab release date for prakash of Guru Gobind Singh is given as Tuesday January 7, 2014. Celebrations commemorated by Sikhs in the West during the previous weekend on January 4, or 5, of 2014 are held for convenience sake.