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

Flavelle to run for council

Frequent Abbotsford council observer seeking his own seat

GOLD: A brand-new socially conscious piece of theatre

Burlesque-theatre show, part of The Goddess Movement, comes to Abbotsford

Longtime pals release game backed by Kickstarter campaign

Zebulon: Galactic Control created by Abbotsford pair

Cannon tournament raises over $7,500

Annual touch rugby event a success in 2018

City to participate in ‘Smart City’ initiative

Aim is to make Abbotsford more attractive to foreign investment

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Most Read