Vaisakhi 2024 Sikh festival: Trafalgar Square celebrations - time and events

Vaisakhi celebrates the birth of the Khalsa - the day Sikhism was born as a collective faith.
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The Sikh community in London will celebrate the holy Sikh festival of Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square on Saturday (April 6).

The festival is usually celebrated on April 13 or 14 and is seen as a celebration of spring harvest primarily in Northern India.

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On Saturday April 6, a free celebration event will take place in Trafalgar Square, co-hosted by DJ and presenter Tommy Sandhu and entrepreneur, disability specialist and speaker Shani Dhanda.

The programme includes Kirtan performances from Grewal Twins and Kirpal Singh Panesar and demonstrations of Gatka, a Sikh Martial Art, featuring The Dhol Academy drummers.

Other highlights include turban tying, film screenings, sports with the Sikh Games, and Sikh artists displaying their work

A children's marquee will include free activities with Kiddie Sangat.

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Free light bites and Indian tea (langar) will be provided as well as cooking demonstrations from expert chefs.

The free family event is organised by the mayor of London and supported by the Vaisakhi Community Advisory Group.

The Sikh community in London will celebrate the holy Sikh festival of Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square this weekend.The Sikh community in London will celebrate the holy Sikh festival of Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square this weekend.
The Sikh community in London will celebrate the holy Sikh festival of Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square this weekend.

What is Vaisakhi?

Vaisakhi commemorates the inauguration of the Khalsa in the late 17th century, a term used for Sikhs who have been initiated or baptised. The Khalsa was formed in order to take a stand against the religious oppression Sikhs were facing at the time.

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The first baptism of the Khalsa, a ceremony called Amrit Sanchar, took place in 1699 during Vaisakhi under the guidance of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru.

During Vaisakhi, processions called Nagar Keertan are led by five Khalsa. The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, is carried along the procession.

Vaisakhi celebrations in Trafalgar Square will take place on Saturday April 6 between 12pm and 6pm.