Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Shaheedi Diwas

The Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji

Remembering a Sikh Icon

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji

The Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji is a solemn occasion observed on May 23th each year by Sikhs around the world.Every year, it takes place on the 24th day of Jeth, the third month in the Sikh calendar. It is a day of remembrance and reverence for the fifth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who made profound contributions to the faith but ultimately sacrificed his life for his beliefs. This article delves into the history, importance, and activities associated with this significant day in Sikh history.


Guru Arjan Dev Ji, born in 1563, ascended to the position of the fifth Sikh Guru at a crucial time. The canonical scripture of Sikhism, the Adi Granth, also known as the Guru Granth Sahib, was put together under his leadership. This compilation laid the foundation of the Sikh scripture as we know it today. However, his growing influence and the popularity of Sikhism alarmed the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.

In 1606, Emperor Jahangir, under the influence of political and religious rivalries, ordered the execution of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The Guru was subjected to extreme torture and, ultimately, embraced martyrdom. It served as a constant reminder of his unwavering dedication to his religion and his determination on keeping his moral standards.


The Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji holds immense significance in Sikh history. It serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by Guru Arjan Dev Ji and the sacrifices made to preserve Sikhism. The day highlights the principles of truth, justice, and religious freedom that Guru Arjan Dev Ji stood for, inspiring generations of Sikhs to uphold these values.


  • On this solemn day, Sikhs engage in various activities to commemorate Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s martyrdom. Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) hold special prayer services known as Kirtans, where devotional hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib are sung. These prayers reflect on the life, teachings, and sacrifice of Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
  • Langar, a community meal, is an integral part of Sikh traditions. During the Martyrdom Day, Sikhs organize Langars to serve food to the attendees, symbolizing equality, inclusivity, and the spirit of seva (selfless service).
  • Additionally, Sikh communities may organize processions, called Nagar Kirtans, where devotees march through the streets, carrying the Guru Granth Sahib on a decorative float. These processions provide an opportunity for Sikhs to share their faith and teachings with others while paying homage to Guru Arjan Dev Ji.

Conclusion – The Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji is a solemn occasion that reminds Sikhs of the sacrifices made by their beloved Guru for the principles and values of Sikhism. It is a day of reflection, prayer, and unity, where Sikhs gather to honor Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s life and teachings. Through these observances, Sikhs strive to uphold the timeless ideals of truth, justice, and religious freedom that their Guru exemplified, ensuring that his legacy continues to inspire generations to come.