Most of us know that Vaisakhi celebration commemorates the anniversary of the Khalsa which was laid down by Guru Gobind Singh. Though it signifies its establishment in India, Sikh communities all around the world engage in an overwhelming festivity to mark this auspicious day.
The festivities of Vaisakhi are widely celebrated by the Sikhs of Western Punjab in Pakistan. The celebrations are observed on the Panja Sahib complex in Hasan Abdal, numerous Gurudwaras in Nankana Sahib and various historical sites in Lahore.
Earlier Malaysia did not observe Vaisakhi to be considered as a public holiday, since the Sikh community ranked among the minorities here. However in 2013 Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that all Sikh government servants would be granted leave on the same occasion. The celebrations in Malyasia typically take place in the form of ‘open houses’.
Los Angeles and Manhattan are the two primary places that epitomize Vaisakhi celebrations. The Sikhs of Manhattan offer ‘Seva’ to the community by offering food and contribute to the completion of labour oriented tasks. A full day Kirtan is also hosted at the Gurudwara which is followed by a procession.
Birmingham being the largest concentration of Sikhs makes a point to celebrate this festival king size. More than one lakh people make it to the festivity at the Handsworth Park. This year it’s going to get bigger as the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham (CSGB) is marking their 25th anniversary. The celebration will be followed by a Simran which is the remembrance of God by repetition or recital of his name during a spiritual meditation. Other places in England that also participate include Southall, Gravesend, and Willenhall.
Canada has the most of Sikh population and the celebrations of Vaisakhi here are considered as a global phenomenon. A massive parade is observed with more than 2 lakh participants. With an array of entertaining performances, the celebrations consist of floats represented by various communities. This year a limited edition, pure silver coin is being released on April 13 in Canada, to commemorate the festival.