- Sikhism started with Guru Nanak
- Guru Nanak was giving his teachings in 1485 CE
- Guru Nanak had an experience of the Divine; he disappeared for three days and came back
- Thereafter he taught all to respect the divinity within everyone, and to serve the divinity in their friends, family, neighbours, one and all.
- He taught that God was love and one should love God and seek God in all things.
- He began the system of community singing (bhajans, kirtans) and community service.
- Sikhs are usually identifiable by their turbans.
Khalsa Sikhism has five elements: 5 K's which are the things Sikhs wear at all times. They are:
- Having unshorn/cut hair. This is called Kes. One must, whether male or female, is required to keep their Kes covered, whether it be in the form of a turban, bandana, or a scarf (Chunni)
- Having a wooden comb in their hair. This is called Kangha. This symbolizes cleanliness which is an important part of Sikhism.
- Having an iron bracelet. This is for protection and physical reminder that a one is bound to the Guru. This is called Kara.
- Wearing cotton underwear that does not always have to be used as underwear. This is called Kachera. It is a reminder to stay away from lust and attachment.
- Carrying a sword with oneself. This is worn to defend one's faith and protect the weak. This is called Kirpan. It is only to be used in self-defence.
- A Kirpan
- Sikhs call god Hari, which simply means Lord.
- Sikhs acknowledge that Vishnu, the preserver, has taken human form as Rama, Krishna, and had other avatars.
The main Sikh festivals are
- Parkash Utsav - This festival's name, when translated, means the celebration of the Divine Light, or Divine Knowledge. This is held on 31 January
- Lohri - Harvest Festival similar to Makara Sankranti, and is held on 13/14 January
- Maghi - Maghi commemorates the martyrdom of the "Forty Immortals," forty followers of Guru Gobind Singh who had previously deserted him, fought bravely against overwhelming Mughal army forces and were martyred in Muktsar. This is celebrated on 13 January
- Vaisakhi - the Birth of the Khalsa, or Sikh religion. This is celebrated on April 13
- Martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev - Guru Arjan Dev Sahib was martyred on this day, according to the Nanakshahi calendar.
- Parkash Divas - Parkash Divas is the day where the Guru Granth Sahib was instituted. Sikhs go to a local temple for a prayer, and hymns. This is celebrated on 1 September
- Diwali - Festival of Lights. Same festival as Diwali/Deepavali in Hinduism. Is celebrated on November 9
- Guru Nanak Jayanthi - Birthday of Guru Nanak. This is celebrated on November 24
The Sikh Holy Book is the Guru Granth.
It is sometimes called Guru Granth Sahib.
You can read it here
A Granthi reads the Guru Granth Sahib.