Happy Vaisakhi

Celebrated on the 14th April, Vaisakhi is a festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community, the Khalsa, in 1699 and the beginning of the harvest season.

The celebrations at Vaisakhi include processions and parades led by five of the Khalsa through the streets called Nagar Kirtans, which involve music, singing and readings of scriptures. The five Khalsa represent the Panj Pyare who were the first five to be initiated into the Khalsa.

Services will also be held in the gurdwara where the committee for the gurdwara is elected and the Nishan Sahib (the orange flag outside every gurdwara) is taken down and replaced with a new flag. The flagpole is also taken down and washed in milk and yoghurt and then water to symbolise cleanliness and purity.

In the evening, Sikhs will usually sit with family and friends and have a meal with various types of food. These can include chole (chickpea curry), daal, stuffed paratha, paneer, samosas, and sometimes some gulab jamun or barfi for dessert.

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