The Vaisakhi festival celebrates the founding of the Sikh community, which happened in 1699.
It is estimated that around 30 million follow Sikhism worldwide, and 400,000 people in the UK are Sikh.
Ravi Singh, CEO of Khalsa Aid, said: “The revolution which took place in 1699 is timeless! Khalsa ideology is based 100% on humanity without prejudice. Recognise the human race as one.”
It is celebrated with big celebrations every year, and this will be the first time since 2019 there will not be Covid restrictions in the UK, so expect a big celebration this year.
So, what is the Vaisakhi festival, what is it, and how is it being celebrated in London?
When is the Vaisakhi festival?
Vaisakhi is a spring festival, and occurs on the 13th or 14th of April every single year. In 2022, the Vaisakhi festival falls on Thursday, April 14.
What is the Vaisakhi festival?
Vaisakhi, also known as Baiskahi, is a festival that celebrates the initial founding of the Sikh community, the Khalsa, which occured in 1699.
Originally, the festival was a harvest festival until it became the most important festival of Sikhism.
The day of Vaisakh is celebrated by many. On the morning of the day, Sikhs go to the Gurdwara in the morning for a service. After this, they have a procession which takes part through the streets, and involves lots of singing, combined with chanting and colourful clothes, too.
This procession is referred to as the Nagar Kirtan, which means Neighbourhood Hymns.
Jagraj Singh, Sikh educator for Basics of Sikhi said: “Nagar Kirtans are a great way for people to learn about the essence of Sikhi as a religion and we definitely recommend people of all backgrounds, no matter their faith, to go to their local Nagar Kirtan and see how Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi.”
Approximately 20 Nagar Kirtans will take place all over Britain, with areas such as Birmingham and London attracting tens of thousands of parishioners.
In the evening, it is traditional for Sikhs to have a special meal with both family and friends.
What events are happening near me?
An event to celebrate the day is happening in Hounslow, at the Hounslow Youth centre on Kingsley Road.
A child friendly event, join the celebration with Darpan Bengalis in Hounslow. Light refreshments will be served, as well an Easter egg hunt, face painting and more fun activities for children.
Perhaps the biggest celebration of all, possibly in the UK is the celebration taking part in Trafalgar Square.
The cost to join the celebration is free of charge, and will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2022 from 1pm - 6pm.
There will be some food available, free light bites. Indian tea and demonstrations of a type of martial arts - Gatka. Entertainment and a display of Sikh art will also happen on the day.
An opening ceremony will also take place, as at 1pm, a 10-piece marching band from Asian British Music (‘ABM’) will perform the Sikh anthem ‘Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Hai’.
To find out more about this day of celebrations, including more key timings from the day, visit the official website.