Martyrdom Day Of Guru Arjan Dev

The Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev is a day that commemorates the death of the first Sikh martyr in 1606. This gazetted holiday in the Indian state of Punjab falls on the 24th day of Jeth, which is the third month on the Sikh calendar. This places it somewhere between May and June on the Gregorian calendar.

On this day, Sikh pilgrims known as the Jatha travel to Pakistan to Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore. This event has occurred every year since the holiday’s inception, but in 2021, it was temporarily put on hold due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The History of Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev

In April of 1563, Guru Arjan Dev was born in Goindval, India. He was the son of the future Guru Ramdas and his mother was Mata Bhani. In 1581, he became the 5th Guru of the Sikhs after the death of his father and went on to lay the foundation of Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar.

He also declared that all Sikhs should tithe a tenth of their earnings to charity. His most significant contribution to the Sikh faith, however, would come when he compiled all the writings of past Gurus into one book, known as the Guru Granth Sahib.

In 1606, the Muslim Mughal Emperor Jahangir found some of the hymns in the text offensive and ordered Guru Arjan Dev to delete them and pay a fine of 200,000 rupees. When he refused, he was tortured and executed.

Observing Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev

This holiday is usually observed with a full reading of the Guru Granth Sahib. There is also a procession with the holy scripture, and candies are generally offered to the public outside their gurdwaras. Additionally, there is an annual procession to Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore, Punjab.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 10 Monday
Next year (2025)
May 30 Friday
Last year (2023)
May 23 Tuesday