Join the Vaisakhi celebrations for Sikh New Year in London.
Each year, London celebrates Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square.
Vaisakhi is the Sikh New Year Festival and everyone is welcome. The official date for Vaisakhi is 13 April, but the 2011 Vaisakhi festival in Trafalgar Square will be held on 15 May.
Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year, is the holiest day of the calendar for over 20m Sikhs worldwide. It is celebrated on 13 April each year.
- On this day in 1699, Sikhism was born as a collective faith. Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Master of the Sikhs, initiated the Sikhs as the Khalsa or the pure and sincere. He bound the Sikhs to a strict code of conduct and, with uncut hair, beard and turban, gave the Sikhs a distinct identity.
- The celebration of Vaisakhi takes the form of continuous reading of the Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, over a period of 3 days. That is followed by the recitation of sacred hymns. The service ends with a final prayer for the good and well-being of the whole of humanity, and the serving of sacramental food.
- The message of Vaisakhi has particular relevance today in multicultural and multifaith Britain. Vaisakhi promotes friendship and mutual respect as the way forward. This is consistent with the command of Guru Gobind Singh Ji :”Consider the whole of humanity as one, we are all children of the One God.”
- Vaisakhi on the Square is organised by Vaisakhi in London Committee with support from the Mayor of London.
Vaisakhi on the Square takes place on Sunday 2nd May with festivities, music, food and live entertainment in Trafalgar Square.
Crowds can enjoy traditional and contemporary Asian music with a programme of performances scheduled for the afternoon. Religious hymns will be sung alongside modern tunes from DJs who will make sure there’s something for all ages and tastes throughout the afternoon.
Live performances at Vaisakhi on the Square
Trafalgar Square will be bubbling with music, dance to celebrate one of the biggest Sikh events of the year. Traditional and modern music will be playing for all of the crowd to enjoy, to mark the 300th anniversary of the consecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal Guru.
Vaisakhi on the Square begins with prayers and messages for peace before the music and live entertainment. All visitors are welcome to participate in this traditional Sikh event, promoting friendship, community and mutual respect.
A taste of culture
During the afternoon, free vegetarian food, or Langar will be available for the crowds at the Vaisakhi festival. Visitors can enjoy authentic Asian cuisine in a lively festival atmosphere.
Vaisakhi on the Square takes place from 12pm, Sunday 15th May 2011 at Trafalgar Square. The event is free to attend.