The celebrations and processions of Vaisakhi are undoubtedly a visual treat. The strikingly exuberant colors, decorations, and symbols come together to create a meaningful sea of celebration infused with tradition, culture and community. However, following two years of cancellations, the Vaisakhi parade, one of the most celebrated parts of the festival, has yet again been announced to be a no-go.
Worry not! There are still plenty of ways to bring Vaisakhi to life in the comfort of your homes, or locally within the community:
- Artsy Approach: With plenty of online resources, coloring pages, crafts activities, and more, bring in some fun with group activities where adults and kids can come together to get their creative juices flowing! Choose from coloring the photo of a Vaisakhi scene, or even creating a “Happy Vaisakhi” card to gift the grandparents. By making Vaisakhi hands-on, the art angle is bound to be a hit.
- Decor Galore: You decorate for Christmas, Halloween, and birthdays. Vaisakhi should be no exception! In shades of yellow, orange, black, blue, and white, make your home reflect the month of Vaisakhi. Get everyone involved and do not hesitate to go overboard with the Vaisakhi bling. After all, Vaisakhi only comes once a year.
- Dress to Impress: For many, getting ready for the Vaisakhi parade was the best part of Vaisakhi. Why let that go? On Vaisakhi morning, tell the family that they should come out in their suits, cholas, and dastars to celebrate the big day. Many workplaces and schools also encourage all to come dressed in their best Vaisakhi wear.
- Food Fest: The Vaisakhi parade is known for its selfless service, much of which comes in the form of langar. Indulge in the delicacies of popular Vaisakhi dishes. Look up recipes and make it a family event to cook up some yummy food. To make it even better, consider sitting on the ground when eating, as you would in a Gurdwara, to feel the humility and gain the full experience.
- Gurdwara Trip: Although you can’t take on the streets this year, feel free to get out of the house to pay a respectful and safe visit to your local Gurdwara. Mingle with other attendees and soak in the bliss of sangat as you hear the many speeches, poems, and hymns on the auspicious occasion.
- Movie Night: With Sikh cinema upping its game in recent times, there are many available films that can educate the family about Sikh values and history. Microwave some popcorn, grab those drinks, and sit tight in a pillow fortress as you glue your eyes to the TV screen for some cinematographic genius. Suggestions include Chaar Sahibzaadey, Sunny the Proud Sikh, or shorter documentaries about Vaisakhi.
- Story Time: There are many Sakhis and sagas that are classics and can be easily tied to Vaisakhi. No matter how old you are, the recollection of these real-life events is bound to give you goosebumps. Either through a book or via the creativity of your own mind, get everyone together as you tell the tales of bravery to celebrate the holy occasion.
- Talent Show: The Vaisakhi parade, as it is usually held, features talented individuals coming together to show off their skills in singing, poetry, martial arts, and more! Get together with a few friends or family members to encourage all the performers in the crew to come out and share their talents for the most supportive audience.
- Trivia Session: Followed by an optional Q&A session, through which kids can ask parents more information about why Vaisakhi is celebrated, a trivia session or contest can be held within a family. With one moderator to keep things from getting too heated, Vaisakhi-related questions can be asked to two opposing teams, instilling both a sense of healthy competition and enhancing knowledge about Vaisakhi.
With unique embodiments, each Vaisakhi activity brings with itself a distinct purpose, history or meaning that is ultimately weaved into the fabric of Vaisakhi. Vaisakhi is more than just the Vaisakhi parade and can be celebrated just as sincerely at home and in the local community. Rather than keeping an event at the face value of what it offers, divulge into unique ways to celebrate the much-loved event. As you soak in the celebration delights, also remember to embrace the ‘why’ behind whatever you choose to do this Vaisakhi!