Vaisakhi festival, also known as Baisakhi, will be celebrated here in Leicester.
The city’s Vaisakhi procession, which is the third largest in the UK, is scheduled for April 22, leaving from Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Holy Bones, in Leicester.
Events will also be held at the Gurdwara Guru Panth Prakash, in Ashford Road, (on April 13 or 14) and in East Park Road from 11am on April 15.
The ancient Sikh festival, celebrated with vigour in Punjab, India, also marks the beginning of the Hindu solar New Year’s day. Vaisakhi has an important religious meaning – honouring the year Sikhism was born as a collective faith.
Many people choose to be baptised into the Khalsa brotherhood on this day, which is the name given to the nation of Sikhs.
Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi as the day of the formation of the Khalsa. On that day, in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Sikh Guru) established the Khalsa and eliminated the differences of high and low and established that all human beings are equal.
Sikh followers generally attend the decorated Gurdwara temple, or “door that leads to the Guru”, before dawn, with flowers and offerings in hand. It is a day also associated with parades through towns, dancing and traditional singing. The festivities always include music, chanting scriptures, hymns and song.
A Vaisakhi event will also be held on May 4 at the Braunstone Civic Centre, in Kingsway, Braunstone Town. Residents have been invited to attend the annual celebration, which includes a disco and a hot meal of curry for all, from 7pm to 10pm.
Pauline Hurd, the manager of the Civic Centre, said everyone was welcome: “We do one every year, hosted by people of the community, where a crowd of over a hundred locals come together and have fun.”
Pauline added that city councillors also come along for the entertainment: “Anyone can come. We usually have people of all ages at
the event made up of families, friends and children.
“We all get together; it’s good for getting the community together and involved”.