Gravesend Enjoys Vaisakhi Festival – KentNews.Online
Last Saturday people in Gravesend enjoyed the Vaisakhi Festival.
The High Street was closed as the procession of people and floats made their way along the road.
Gravesend has a high number of Sikhs and the festival is a great way to learn more about Sikh culture.
Some Sikhs marching in the procession
Vaisakhi, also distinct Baisakhi, marks the first day of the month of Vaisakh and is traditionally famous yearly on 13 April and sometimes 14 April as a celebration of spring harvest chiefly in Northern India. Further, other Indian cultures and diaspora celebrate this festival too. Whilst it is culturally meaningful as a festival of harvest, some also consider Vaisakhi to be the authentic date for the Indian Solar New Year.
For Sikhs, in addition to its significance as the harvest festival, during which Sikhs keep up kirtans, visit local Gurdwaras, community fairs, keep up nagar kirtan processions, raise the Nishan Sahib flag, and gather to socialize and proportion festive foods.
Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi by going to the Gurdwara in the morning for a service. Afterwards, they have a procession by the streets with lots of singing, chanting and colourful clothes. The procession is called the Nagar Kirtan. In the evening, Sikhs have a special meal with family and friends.
This year there was also a festival held in Trafalgar Square in London, where visitors enjoyed free light bites and Indian tea (Langar), displays of martial arts (Gatka), entertainment and a characterize of Sikh art.
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