Vaisakhi, or Baisakhi, marks the first day of the month of Vaishakh in the Sikh calendar. The festival, which was originally celebrated as a harvest festival in the northern Indian state of Punjab, has immense religious significance for Sikhs the world over. It was on the Vaisakhi day in the year 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh – the tenth Guru – created the Khalsa.
The festivities resonate here in the UK with the diaspora organising and enjoying an array of nationwide events and cultural programmes. Earlier this month, the festivities kicked off with the grand Nagar Kirtan organised at Southall in west London annually in time for Vaisakhi – which falls this Friday, April 14.
And, there are a whole host of events lined up for the festival over the course of the month…
Trafalgar Square, London
Saturday April 22
This iconic event of cultural entertainment including performances from Manika Kaur, Amrit Kaur, Dal Singh known as the ‘TablaJedi’, Gatka (Sikh martial art) performer Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara, soundtrack by Dhol Academy, free light bites and langar and more!
The New Art Gallery Walsall, Birmingham
Saturday April 15
For those who are curious to learn more the traditions of Vaisakhi and history of Sikhism and India in general, this exhibition event provides the perfect opportunity to take part in family fun, yoga and mindfulness sessions, learn about Sikh coinage through the gallery’s display and enjoy bhangra music and performances!
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Handsworth Park, Birmingham
Sunday April 30
This open-air celebration is the perfect way to spend your Sunday if you are in Birmingham. The event will also feature nagar kirtan, which celebrates the beginning of Sikhism. The alcohol and cigarette free event will also include stalls from brands which promote ethical products.
GNNSJ Vaisakhi Kids Camp 2023, Leeds
Saturday-Sunday April 22-23
This two-day weekend camp celebrates Vaisakhi and is aimed specifically at children of all ages. During their stay, children will be able to participate in a range of activities from sports and kickboxing to learning calligraphy and gatka. Furthermore, they will have the chance to ask questions and gain insightful knowledge about Sikhi and the meaning of Vaisakhi.
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