Vancouver Celebrates Vaisakhi
Hundreds of thousands came out to Vancouver’s Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan procession on Saturday, April 14 to not only celebrate the harvest festival, but to mark the New Year and most importantly, celebrate the Birth of the Khalsa in 1699.
People, from politicians to children and seniors, and organizations, including DARPAN Magazine, gathered at the Ross Street Gurdwara at about 11 am. At this time, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib left the temple’s gates on top of a float headed by a contingent of individuals dressed in traditional Sikh warrior attire, including five individuals portraying the ‘Panj Pyare.’ The Nagar Kirtan procession followed the holy book with floats of varying sizes and colours, decorated vehicles and parade attendees.
“Vaisakhi is an important reminder of the proud and enduring Sikh culture. For more than 100 years, your contributions to British Columbia and Canada have enriched us all. I commend you on your leadership in the community, and your love of B.C.,” Premier Christy Clark said in a statement.
She continued by adding, “On behalf of all British Columbians, I offer our thanks to you and our sincere best wishes this Vaisakhi, as you take part in a celebration with your families and friends that is steeped in longstanding and meaningful tradition. Lakh Lakh Vadhai.” The Premier was in attendance at the Nagar Kirtan, along with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and MLA’s from the Liberal, Conservative and NDP parties.
The Nagar Kirtan commenced on Ross Street, and headed south to SE Marine Drive towards Main Street, then headed up north on Main Street towards 49th Avenue. The Punjabi Market was the epicentre and was hustling and bustling with parade attendees, food stalls and entertainment. The Nagar Kirtan then went along 49th Avenue to Fraser Street, and headed south towards 57th Avenue to Ross Street. The Granth returned to Ross Street Temple marking the conclusion of the procession. Vaisakhi is one of the longest parade routes in BC at 6 kilometres.
DARPAN Magazine participated in the Nagar Kirtan, and the team handed out copies of the special Vaisakhi collector’s issue, which went out like hot cakes to parade attendees. Look for DARPAN’s team at the upcoming Nagar Kirtan in Surrey on Saturday, April 21st to get your copy of the Vaisakhi collector’s issue.