What is Vaisakhi and why do Sikhs commemorate it?

    Sikhs celebrating Vaisakhi festival in Bobigny, France.

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    Vaisakhi is commemorated all over the world today. (Picture: Getty)

    Many individuals all over the world are preparing to celebrate Vaisakhi, a very important day in the Sikh calendar.

    Vaisakhi is sometimes called Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vasakhi and takes place each year in April and is celebrated across the world.

    This year Vaisakhi takes place on Tuesday, April 13.

    What is Vaisakhi?

    Vaisakhi is the holiest day in the Sikh calendar. An ancient festival of Punjabis, it marks the Solar New Year and is also a harvest festival marking the creation of the community of initiated Sikhs known as the Khalsa.

    There are two different elements to Vaisakhi: firstly it refers to the harvest festival in the Punjab region of India, and secondly, it marks the day that Sikhism was born as a collective faith in 1699.

    This day is also observed by the farming community of Punjab as day of giving thanks and paying tribute to God for their abundant harvest and praying for future prosperity.

    How is Vaisakhi celebrated?

    Vaisakhi is all about community, progression and celebration.

    The festival is marked around the world with processions known as a nagar kirtan.

    A traditional Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan procession in 2018 in Rome, Italy.

    A traditional Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan procession in 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Picture: Stefano Montesi – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

    These processions are led through streets, and religious hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book) are recited.

    In India the main celebration takes place at Talwandi Sabo in Punjab. This is where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nine months, and where he completed the recompilation of the Sikh holy book.

    While the traditional processions will have to be scaled back this year because of the ongoing pandemic, Sikhs will still come together to rejoice at Guru Gobind Sing’s creation of the Khalsa.

    Baisakhi Celebration In Punjab

    Students of Sri Guru Harkrishan School performing Geedha in a traditional dress during Baisakhi celebrations in India in 2018. (Picture: Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

    Happy Vaisakhi messages and quotes

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