Vaisakhi, a time for celebration of culture, religion and fun

·2 min read

A colourful celebration of culture and religion will once again be part of this year’s Vaisakhi festival (Nagar Kirtan) at the Penticton Sikh Temple Sunday.

Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is a popular harvest observance in parts of India and also marks the start of the new solar year.

It is regarded as the most important date of the Sikh calendar as the creation of the Khalsa, the Sikh brotherhood, more than 300 years ago.

“There’s always lots of colours, different cultural things and the fun is always a bonus thing, lots of smiles and lots of laughs,” said Penticton temple member Baljit Bhuhi. “It is religious for Sikhs, but for non-Sikhs it’s a unity thing and a way they show their support to the community locally.

“Also, especially at the end of a long winter, it’s a really good way to celebrate spring.”

The event kicks off with the Sikh Day Parade which leaves from the temple at 3290 South Main St. at 11:30 a.m.

The colourful procession, which usually takes just over two hours, will feature floats, martial arts demonstrations, music and more.

During that time there will be road closures in the area and traffic will be directed by parade marshals and the City of Penticton is asking people to be patient and follow directions from officials.

The route travels south on South Main Street from the temple, right on Yorktown Avenue, right on Wilson Street, continuing north to Green Avenue West and back to the South Main starting point.

Another favourite part of the celebration is the traditional food that is served at no cost at the temple from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A new event this year will be the participation of a Surrey doctor who will be doing a seminar and talking with people about health concerns following the parade.

There will be another event returning that has always been popular with the non-Sikhs in the crowds.

“There will be a group who again will doing turbans so if anybody who wants to have a turban on their head can get one and there is no charge,” said Bhuhi.

Everyone is welcome.

Mark Brett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Penticton Herald