Celebrating Vaisakhi

Thanks to one of our members from PSAC/Union of National Employees Local 20088 for sharing her thoughts and experience on Vaisakhi!

Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi, a day that marks the harvest celebration and the anniversary of one of Sikhism’s most important events, the establishment of Khalsa.

Vaisakhi parades are celebration activities that including music, singing, dancing, wearing of festive garments and religious praise. One of the aspects of the parade that attracts people from every culture is the celebration of the Sikh cuisine and other foods. People from all faiths are welcome to enjoy the parade and celebrate. 

For many Sikhs, Vaisakhi is a time for reflection. 

One of my earliest memories of the Vaisakhi celebration was when I was nine years old. I was attending Punjabi school in the evenings and a component of the class was that we had to march in the parade in matching outfits and sing songs along the way. The route was long but it was fun being with my friends and playing it up for the crowds. 

Every year, family and friends prepare food and set up stands along the parade route. It’s a very big job and everyone pitches in to help – whether it’s cleaning up, preparing food or serving the many spectators.

For me, the biggest message I get from Vaisakhi is working together with the community, spending time with loved ones and sharing what we can with others. 

In Vancouver, there are two Vaisakhi Parades to participate in: the Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade happening on April 11, 2015, which attracts about 50,000 spectators, and the annual Surrey Vaisakhi Parade and Celebration on April 18, 2015, which attracts 80 to 200 hundred thousand people, making it one of the largest Vaisakhi parades outside India.