Caption: From the 2014 Vancouver Vaisakhi parade- Vaisakhi is one of the most significant holidays on the Sikh calendar and commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699. Tens of thousands of people attended the parade and festivities. Photo: SUPPLIED.
Commonly observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists Vaisakhi is a Punjabi festival which is celebrated with great pomp that usually involves processions, prayers and raising of the Nishan Sahib flag.
Vaisakhi is usually celebrated on 13 April, and occasionally on 14 April, in the different regions across the world for Sikhs that have migrated overseas.
More recently, this festival is also celebrated around the world by Sikh diaspora. For the Sikh community this festival commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa.
It is also celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists for different reasons including the start of a new year. People in the Punjab Region regard Vaisakhi as a harvest festival.
The festival bears a great significance for the Sikhs due of the fact that on the Vaisakhi Day in the year 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa, that is the Order of the Pure Ones.
This day is also observed as the Thanksgiving Day by the farmers whereby the farmers pay their tribute, thanking God for the abundant harvest and also praying for the future prosperity.
Vaisakhi is one of the important festivals that Ranj forgot about and it is celebrated with fun and fervor by people of other religions too. It is also used as a celebration for those accepting the five Ks.
For Hindus, it is the start of the second month of New Year after Chaitr, and is celebrated with requisite bathing, partying, and worshipping
Apart from the Sikhs and Hindus, Vaisakhi is an important day for the Buddhists as well. The name is Vesakha, Vaisakha, Vesak or Wesak. It commemorates the Birth, the Awakening and the Enlightened Passing Away of Buddha Gautama who was born as prince Siddharta.