Hello and Happy Gurpurab!
This last weekend, my friend and I, hosted a Gurpurab Celebration for the Gurpurab of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. A Gurpurab is a day that our Guru Sahib’s took human form. This year, November 5th marked the day, that our first Guru took human form explaining this to a 3-year old (almost 4!) and 10 month old (clueless) is tough. One thing BabyG understands is decorating, presents and a celebration so we decided to go all out for Gurpurab this year.
I love the festive feeling of winter and at this time of the year, there are so many great places to get decor. Since I have lived in Canada every year we play the full Malton Gurdwara Akhand Paath (prayer) on the TV. So we decided to decorate in our family room where the Akhand Paath would be playing and where we spend most of our time. To get BabyG excited about the Gurpurab I had her help me with the decorating and she actually helped me to make the banner which says “Dhan Guru Nanak”. She really loved to be involved and she took on the duty to switch the lights on and off every day.
My friend and I planned the Gurpurab Celebration event trying to keep in mind what the children would enjoy and to reinforce the key principals that Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught us. I have shared a list of the activities we did with the kids:
- Simran and Dhan Guru Nanak Kirtan; this was a great way to start as the kids could join in and sing. It also started off the celebration with Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s first teaching of “Naam Japo” to pray and remember Waheguru.
- Operation shoebox appeal; we picked up two donation boxes for a girl and a boy and had each family come forward and put something into the box. This was a way to show the kids that they could share with those children less fortunate than them. It also taught them Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s second principle of “Vand ke Chakko” to share what you have.
- Ornament making; we had decided to get an alternative tree (to a traditional Christmas tree) which we call our Gurpurab tree, a few parents had also set up something similar or decorated at home where they would be able to use the ornament. These came out beautifully with an image of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the middle and the children had fun making and decorating the frame.
- Pass the parcel; this was a fun game to play with the kids and we had told the kids earlier that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s third teaching was to “Kirat Karo” or do honest work. We had hoped that honesty would come through in the game (haha!)
- Mala (rosary) making; this was a nice activity for the children as they were able to make a colorful mala for themselves and (hopefully) use to do Simran.
- Oreo decorating; The kids dipped Oreo pops into melted chocolate and added sprinkles it was so fun and delicious!
- Coloring sheets; we printed some coloring sheets of Guru Nanak Dev Ji for the kids which showed Guru Sahib wearing a mala and so the kids could relate that to the mala making activity. We try not to get the kids attached to an image or painting of any of the Guru Sahibs but we felt as the kids are young they find it easier to understand through pictures and images.
We ended the Gurpurab celebration with a Gurpurab cake and a gift exchange for the kids. As a party favor for the kids were able to get a hold of some Guru Nana Dev Ji comic books and Punjabi coloring books. The event was a huge success and we received a lot of positive feedback from the parents (and kids!). We want to thank everyone who came out and contributed to the event – it wouldn’t have been possible to do this without you all. P.S. We have already started planning for the next event and I can’t wait to share what we do- with you!
Take care and happy reading!