About Sikh Ceremonies

Nam Karan

After the birth of a child, the mother and the child, when in good health, go to the Gurdwara with their relatives and friends for the naming ceremony. 'Ardas' is recited and the 'Hukam' read. The child's name is chosen to begin with the first letter of the 'Hukam'.

Dastaar Bandi

When a boy reaches a certain age (usually eleven to sixteen), he is taken to a Gurudwara and there, in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib and following Ardas, his first turban will be ceremonially tied on by the Granthi, an elder relation or another Sikh elder. The Granthi will explain the importance of keeping long hair and wearing a turban.This ceremony designates the respect with which the turban is regarded. The Turban is such a crucial article of faith that many Sikhs consider it to be more important that all the other Ks. Turbans may be of any color, and is tied in many different ways and styles. [Source: SikhWiki]

Anand Karaj

The Sikh marriage is called 'Anand Karaj' which means the ceremony of joy. The fourth Guru, Guru Ramdas, originally composed Lavan, the wedding song, to celebrate a holy union between the human soul (Atma) and God (Parmatma). The Guru wishes that our married life should also be moulded on the ideal laid down for our union with the Parmatma. The 4 verses of Lavan explain the four stages of love and married life. The first verse emphasizes the performance of duty to the family and the community. The second verse refers to the stage of yearning and love for each other. The third verse refers to the stage of detachment or Virag. The fourth verse refers to the final stage of harmony and union in married life during which human love blends into the love for God.

Amrit Sanchar

This is the sacred ceremony for the initiation into the Khalsa brotherhood. It should be taken only by those who are fully mature enough to realize the commitment required and the significance. The Khalsa is required to wear the 5K's.


In Sikhism death is considered a natural process and God's will. To a Sikh, birth and death are closely associated, because they are both part of the cycle of human life of "coming and going" ( ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਣਾ, Aaavan Jaanaa) which is seen as transient stage towards Liberation ( ਮੋਖੁ ਦੁਆਰੁ, Mokh Du-aar), complete unity with God. Sikhs thus believe in reincarnation. When a death occurs, the body is washed and dressed in clean clothes with the Five Ks. The body is then cremated. Prayers are held at the local Gurudwara.