Vaisakhi is an annual cultural and religious festival which holds immense importance within the Sikh calendar. Every year around the 13th April Sikhs all over the globe come together to celebrate Vaisakhi in order to mark the beginning of the Sikh new year. In addition to this, Vaisakhi also serves to commemorate the spring harvest festival for farmers in the North Indian state of Punjab. But most importantly, Vaisakhi marks the birth of the Khalsa (the Sikh community) led by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699.
The day of Vaisakhi is full of colour, festivities and brings with it a strong sense of community. Gurdwaras (temples) are adorned with decorations and Nagar Kirtan processions take place in various towns and cities. People dress up to the nines in vibrant outfits, making sure to cover their heads as the processions are led through the streets by the local Panj Pyare (five initiated Sikhs). Typically, one can expect to witness the singing of hymns and the offering of langar (free food and drink) to participants in the festival. And of course everybody is welcome to join the parade, regardless of race or religion, it’s the optimum time for unity.