Dancers from Learning Star Arts Academy and Little Twinkle Preschool performed during a Vaisakhi celebration Thursday night at Rick Hansen Secondary. The event included dancing, singing, a fashion show and more. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Vaisakhi an occasion to sing, dance and celebrate

Annual Sikh event also serves as ‘harvest festival,’ during which farmers give thanks

Every year, Sikhs around the world celebrate Vaisakhi in mid-April, one of the most important annual events for members of the faith.

Vaisakhi marks the day in 1699 when Guru Gobind Sing Ji founded the Khalsa fraternity, but it also historically serves as a harvest festival, during which farmers give thanks.

Vaisakhi officially falls each year on April 13 or 14. This year, it is on the 14th.

Throughout the month of April, Vaisakhi and the birth of the Khalsa is celebrated around the globe.

This is an occasion of dancing, singing, music, the wearing of festive garments and religious praise.

Men dance the Bhangra and women dance the Gidda to celebrate this event.

During the Vaisakhi celebration, processions called nagar kirtan make their way along the streets as they sing hymns from a sacred book of worship know as Guru Granth Sabib.

Many Sikhs choose to be baptized during this holiday.

Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh populations in the world, and Abbotsford-Mission is itself home to a large concentration of Sikhs, with more than 30,000 people reporting the faith as their religion.

Every year, Vaisakhi celebrations large and small are held across the country. Surrey hosts one of the largest festivals, with the parade there drawing hundreds of thousands of men, women and children of all cultures.

That parade features a unique element which pays tribute to the harvest celebration roots of the parade – attendees are given free food and drink from hundreds of local residents and businesses.

This year’s parade takes place Saturday, April 21, starting and ending at 12885 85 Ave. The parade starts at around 9 or 9:30 a.m. and is followed by a festival.

In Abbotsford, the Valley Royals Vaisakhi track meet takes place Sunday, April 15 at Rotary Stadium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The meet is a fusion of western athletic track and field events and South Asian-Punjabi athletic demonstrations and cultural events. A traditional Vaisakhi Langar lunch is provided free for everyone from noon to 2 p.m.

There will be special events such as Bhangra dance, henna hand painting, and turban tying on the community stage and a demonstration of the Indian-style martial art of Gatka.

Admission is free.


The Dhoi group from Howe Middle School performed Thursday night during a Vaisakhi celebration at Rick Hansen Secondary. The event included dancing, singing, a fashion show and more. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

UPDATE: One dead, two in hospital after Highway 1 crash near Bridal Falls

Closure expected to last hours, while drivers are told to take detours

Abbotsford student cleans up at national science fair

Raul Pinol, 15, enters project on condensation of water using geothermal energy

OPINION: Don’t let the jerks grind you down

Indecent politicians need to be rejected, whatever their politics

B.C. Ferries cancels Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen sailings over propulsion problem

11:00 ferry now good to go, but lines anticipated

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

No more Canada Day parade at Canada Place

Annual Vancouver parade has been cancelled due to costs

Pedestrian dead after early morning Vancouver crash

Collision happened on Cambie Street around 3 a.m.

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Most Read